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BETT 2018


available on the market; what’s in development; how it works and how you can use it in your quest to drive up outcomes for your students and school.


And when you’re at the show, ask all the questions you need to and, absolutely, do walk away if it’s not what you’re looking for – not every EdTech solution will work in every school. But first, I urge you to explore the market. EdTech is advancing at an incredible rate and at the heart of it are people who are determined to help you free up your time to spend less of it on marking and more of it teaching exciting, engaging lessons – and to helping those children who don’t quite get it first time round, find their learning feet.


I realise that this may all sound a bit rich given that I’ve never been a teacher, but I have worked in the education sector for ten years and I do spend 65% of my time surrounded by EdTech start-up founders, some of whom are still teaching. They’re not in it to make a million – well, maybe some are and will; mostly they’re in it to make a difference. People buy from people, so please, go and talk to these founders, hear their stories, and if you don’t think what they’ve produced will solve your problem, then tell them what might help. What do you need? Can they come and work with you in your school to help them pilot and develop their product? Most start- up founders and/or suppliers I know are open to adapting their thinking when it comes to design, after all, you’re the one they need to listen to, you’re a potential future customer. For this, a key tool is Connect@Bett, which helps you plan your meetings in advance.


That for me is the heart of Bett: the bringing together of the educational communities committed to helping our young people – and nowadays lifelong learners too – realise their potential. It’s a farmers market of ideas and possibilities waiting to be explored – and in some cases enhanced through your feedback. As I hope you can tell by now, BESA is committed to helping schools have access to the


best resources available. We recently revised the Code of Practice agreement that all of our members are obliged to sign and adhere to and we have secured over 500 supporters to our Resource Our Schools campaign, which was set up to ensure that every school has access to the resources it needs to deliver the education that all children deserve.


BESA is proud to be a partner to Bett Futures, which this year will see around 60 companies introduce their new products and services to the sector. Expect a wide menu of educational and EdTech offerings applied through both downloadable and web-based technologies across a variety of devices and genres from well- being to maths, to creative literacy tools, VR and


STEM, formative assessment solutions, CPD offerings, recruitment solutions, language apps, SEN, safeguarding wearables, revision tools and many, many more. For a full list, visit the Bett Show website.


BESA is equally proud to be a delivery partner to the UCL-led EDUCATE research project, which at a time of fast-moving advances in science and technology, aims to harness the concepts and ideas of individuals and SMEs, underpinned by rigorous academic research and evidence, who are working to enhance teaching and learning in the UK’s education system.


EDUCATE, which will officially launch at this year’s BETT Show, is a ground-breaking partnership of entrepreneurs, researchers and educators, led by UCL’s Institute of Education. Its aim is to develop and promote the use of technology in education by making the best educational research available and accessible to innovators developing their ideas. Now in its second year and working with its third cohort of entrepreneurs, EDUCATE – which is part-funded to the tune of £4.5 million by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund matched by its partners UCL, UCL Engineering, BESA, Nesta and F6S – is seeking to engage with the teaching profession, as well as SMEs. Together, these uniquely-qualified partner organisations provide the research, scientific and technical expertise and know-how to nurture future generations of innovators, and to turn ideas into effective, marketable and commercially- viable products and services.


EDUCATE and its associates will be exhibiting in the BETT Futures at HUB6.


BESA will be the Information Point at Bett, based on stand B134, where we’ll be very happy to tell you more about the association and the work we do, as well as all the great companies and people we represent. We look forward to seeing you there.


28 www.education-today.co.uk January 2018


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