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February 2017

Five things we loved at BETT 2017 this year

Over 35,000 delegates poured into the Excel London in January for the latest instalment of BETT. Teachers, techies and educational leaders gathered to see, hear and experience the latest best practices and technologies to help learners fulfil their potential.

Over the four-day event, we saw many delegates come to our stand and talk to us, but there was lots more going on throughout the venue too! Here’s just five things we loved at BETT 2017 this year and why we think it was the best conference yet.

Welcome to BETT

Rise of 3D printers

3D printers have been on the agenda for educational establishments for a long time, but it was great to see so many different businesses, including ourselves, promoting the benefits of the printers. A recent report by Classflow, who looked into the state of technology in education, found that while over 70% of schools have access to a 3D printer, only 9% use them frequently.

On the XMA stand, we featured the Markerbot Replicator+ (see video below) and just some of the designs that it had made – such as bodies with vital organs and pyramids with internal chambers. We also used the time to talk to educators about how 3D printers can increase student planning, critical thinking, reasoning and creative skills – as well as help develop strong communication and collaboration skills.


Celebrities galore

It’s always great to get a selfie with a celebrity, and that’s certainly what many delegates did this year at Bett with some truly inspirational speakers. As well as appearances from TV presenter Sir Tony Robinson and TV chef Heston Blumenthal, there was also a brilliant story from Ed Stafford – a survivalist extraordinaire who spoke about his success of becoming the first man in the world to walk the length of the Amazon.

The keynote speaker that really grabbed the attention this year, however, was author, speaker and international advisor Sir Ken Robinson. His presentation spoke about ‘The Learning Revolution’ and what changes are required in the future to bring out the talents of our students. You can watch Sir Ken’s presentation on YouTube here.

Augmented and virtual reality

Every area of Excel London was greeted by teachers and techies alike trying augmented and virtual reality headsets. Google Cardboard and Playstation’s new VR headset has thrust augmented and virtual reality into the spotlight. Now, educators are being taught about how such devices and software can allow them to play to their student’s strengths, transport them to places they’ve never been before, and gain maximum engagement in the classroom.

Here is just one example of how headsets are being used to show students the ‘un-showable’.

The Viglen reboot

In case you weren’t aware, the computer brand Viglen is now part of XMA. At Bett 2017, we decided to showcase three Viglen products on our stand – the Omnino 5, the Genie Micro and the Genie Ultra.

Viglen Genie Ultra

The Genie Ultra sets a new standard for small form factor computing at just 345mm wide and 330mm deep. Delegates were able to see the Genie Ultra’s small footprint, reinforced chassis design and front-facing ports, as well as discover the Intel Core i5 processor and range of motherboards included inside.

For those who weren’t able to view the Viglen range at Bett, the devices can be viewed on our Viglen website.

STEAM and ‘Teacherpreneurs’

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics has been joined by ‘Arts’ in 2017 to create the acronym ‘STEAM’ – an initiative to help drive success in technical fields, but also embrace creative and critical thinking skills in our students.

This year’s Bett saw these subjects come to the fore in the ‘STEAM Village’ as educators and newly-dubbed ‘teacherpreneurs’ presented their latest initiatives, projects and approaches that will shape these subjects in the future.

The village included some entertaining demonstrations, including these dancing robots, below!

Upgrade your classroom experience

Missed BETT, but still hooked on getting your classroom experience upgraded?
Download our free eBook, brought to you by Viglen.

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