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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

BETT 2013 & Teach Meet BETT 2013

I had high hopes for the BETT show this year as it moved from Olympia to Excel (which for me is way easier to get to after school) and free CPD opportunities were high on the agenda, giving more of an education conference feel rather than a trade show vibe.


My BETT began when I arrived on Thursday around lunchtime in preparation for speaking about Eportfolios & badges using Google Apps for EDU. I was extremely lucky to have @predacomDom as my guide to the "good stuff" in the short time I had. Before my talk I was able to attend the 'Lady Geek' talk where I bumped into @CodeBoom. Laura did a fantastic job speaking about @CASinclude and @GeekGurlDiaries and I was really excited to finally meet her in person after all our Google hangouts. I was a little disappointed that the Lady Geek speakers did not present some strategies for teachers, I felt they merely highlighted concerns that the attendees already knew about. Lot's of interest about CAS #include from the room however, which is good news.

I arrived at the Google stand to see the end of @OliverQuinlan's talk. I was surprised to see him wearing his Google in Education t-shirt over his shirt. I was fixed up with a microphone 'Madonna' style which was great as I could use both hands to flick between windows to demo my eportfolios live. I tried to keep my Google talk short and sweet, and I hope the audience got something from it. Was great to see my fellow GCTers in the crowd too especially my team mate @ICTmarc. A handful of the audience queued to ask me questions about my setup using GAFE which was great. I really hope some teachers got something from my brief talk.

@predacomdom took great delight in telling me that whilst I was chatting to some teachers, some ladies walked passed and one said to the other "That's ICT with Miss P" and pointed at me. Stuart Baggs would be so jealous if he knew how easily I'd become a brand.

Thursday also involved catching up with everyone from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. I was really glad that I had the opportunity to thank Rob Mullins for allowing me to work on a KS3 scheme of work with the foundation. It has been a truly rewarding experience and I hope when it is ready other teachers will find it useful.

I'm really looking forward to taking a better look at PiFace for a @GeekGurlDiaries episode. @fourtyfourmu has some great project ideas that I can not wait to sink my teeth into.


I rushed to BETT after another day of teaching for my Stone Computing Stand talk on Assessment through Badges. The wonderful @tonyparkin took over the a section of the stand and put together a really great lineup of talks including @SheliBB whose talk on Digital Leaders we managed to catch. I'm not sure what I was doing on that list. Sadly at 5pm the bet show seemed pretty empty, so I started to give my talk to Tony, Andrew Robinson and @jennyfer37 (like chatting to friends). This did not last however, as the audience grew the more I talked. Again some very lovely people stopped to chat to me afterwards to discuss how I created my badges and use them for assessment.

Another highlight was seeing Johnny Ball on the same stand! Achievement unlocked: Meeting childhood hero Jonny Ball!

I also got to meet the wonderful Mr D. Feher of Google, who I hope will help me to record a fantastic @GeekGurlDiaries hangout with female Google developers. She (yes, she don't be fooled by the name) was very enthusiastic about the idea (even when jet-lagged) and didn't mind me being really eager.

Teach Meet BETT 2013: 

I was terribly excited about attending my first teach meet at BETT, as all my favourite teachers, Google, Twitter, and personal friends would be in the same place discussing what I love most about my job, teaching and learning. It was inspiring and fun. @digitalmaverick did a great job organising the evening, and everyone who helped out were superb. I had a great time.

Video of the meet: Part 1 & Part 2

Highlights for me were:

  • meeting up with @jennyfer37 and listening to all her cool ideas for ICT (she really needs to blog them, because they are epic)
  • meeting @nightzookeeper for the first time and giving him a rose.
  • chatting to @knill. 
  • winning @ianaddison's book on the raffle.
  • stealing @MrLockyer's drinks vouchers.
  • @ActionJackson (need I say more?)
  • Being drawn on the Teach meet visual minutes wall:


The day of my BETT talk was here. I was super nervous about this talk, and arrived at Excel (even without the DLR working) at 9.15. I was allowed into the show before the public and had my pass upgraded to 'speaker'. This is what LEarn Live Theatre E looks like without people in it:

I managed to get a good crowd between the show opening and starting my talk at 10.15. By the end of my talk it was full, and even some of the exhibitor stands nearby were watching. I had lots of feedback afterwards from the audience which was really positive. I'm glad I found the courage to do it. The most surreal part is having your audience take pictures of your slides every time you go to a new one.

After my talk I decided to take some 'me time' by finally meeting @clivebeale at Raspberry Pi, and attending the BETT Arena talk by Sugata Mitra a personal hero of mine. He discussed his "hole in the wall" project, and research on how children can learn without guidance with encouragement and from each other.  

@Oliverquilan and @NightZooKeeper were in the Dell Think Tank all day. I managed to catch a brief chat with them before I went home. I'm really excited to watch the video to see what was discussed. Finally I submitted to BETT fatigue and went home. I sadly missed meeting up with @STEMettes and @pegleggen.