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46 | EVENT REVIEW: BETT 2014 | INDUSTRY Watch the video click here


P L A CE Y OUR B E T T S


ABOVE: The 2014 event attracted around 36,000 visitors BELOW: Johnny Ball


Rebecca Paddick took a trip to the ExCel London, where this year's Bet show celebrated its 30th anniversary


T


he UK’s biggest education and learning technology event opened its doors for another year in January.


Bet 2014 had more content than ever before, with a


jam-packed Arena programme, three CPD-accredited Summits, six Learn Live theatres and a whole host of networking and fringe activity. Speaking at the show, Dominic Savage, director


general of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) said the four-day event and awards evening “brings the industry together”. “We try to keep the show expanding in-line


with the growth of industry, so I think it is inevitable that the show will be even bigger next year,” he added. Savage also mentioned that Bet’s growing


international presence played an important part this year. “The show aims to be reflective of the global move of education technology. Inviting the international companies along gives them and the UK-based firms a chance to talk all things industry.” This year, the edtech industry’s leaders, including more than 700 exhibitors, came together to showcase their latest products and discuss key themes making waves throughout our sector, and top of this year’s agenda was the impending computing curriculum.


Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove opened the show on Wednesday. In his keynote speech


he said the curriculum, which will be taught in UK primary schools from September this year, was built “from the botom up” by academics because government departments would not be able to keep up with the rapid pace of technology. He added: “Nothing has a shorter life span than the


cuting edge. How can departments regulate policy if they can’t keep up with such speed.” Sir Bob Geldof made an appearance on the first day of


the show. Best known for the 1985 Live Aid and 2005 Live 8 concerts, and as a rock star with the Boomtown Rats, Sir Bob also co-founded Groupcall, a communications and data solutions company in 2001. Speaking from the Groupcall stand, Sir Bob discussed the dangers of living and working in a digital world. “People talk about inequality in terms of income but there is a far more dangerous inequality for the future, and that is technology. If nations don’t hxave the knowledge and the technical capacity for innovation then they lose their edge.” See my full interview with Sir Bob on the Education Technology website. The summits and seminars at BETT are always a big


draw, and this year’s lineup was no exception. The School Leaders Summit was a forum


for discussion and an expert perspective on how schools can best ready themselves for change. Educators who have been recognised for their outstanding practice presented inspiring case studies to motivate their peers and stimulated dialogue on how to promote excellence in education. Not only did this year’s Bet bring the education


community together, but it also unveiled the latest and best learning technology transforming education in the UK and beyond.


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