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Bett 2015 preview

Leading figures from the world of education technology will descend on London’s ExCeL later this month as Bett returns for its 31st edition.

Leading figures from the world of education technology will descend on London’s ExCeL later this month as Bett returns for its 31st edition.

From 21 to 24 January more than 35,000 education professionals are expected to take the trip to London’s Docklands to visit Bett 2015. Through a mixture of new product innovations, workshops and seminars, plus a range of networking opportunities, the show has established itself as the UK’s biggest technology and learning event. And its significance stretches far beyond these shores – Bett Show 2014 welcomed visitors from no fewer than 113 countries.

This international appeal continues in the Technology in HE Summit, which this year features an increased international speakership. Themes up for discussion include ‘Future-proofing your university’ and ‘The changing landscape of technology in Higher Education’.

The summit kicks off at 10:30 on 21 January with a debate on ‘The changing landscape of technology in higher education’. Here a panel will discuss the impact of technology in higher education and its future in the UK. The next day a session at 14:45 will explain ‘how to achieve technology consistency across your university’, while a case study at 16:25 will look at ‘Moving beyond the traditional learning and assessment’ with Helen Keegan of the University of Salford.

‘Evolving higher education’ with futurist Bryan Alexander looks set to be a highlight on the final day of the summit. Starting at 13:05, this session will reveal how universities are changing to adapt to the modern educational need at individual, institutional and state level.

Ministerial addresses

With the countdown to the UK general election entering its final months, many attendees will be keen to hear ministerial addresses from education secretary Nicky Morgan and shadow secretary of state Tristram Hunt. Morgan’s speech will outline her vision across critical educational policy areas, the school curriculum, school improvement and the establishment of academies and free schools. She’ll outline how reform in these areas can be achieved or enhanced through education technology. Her opening address will be given on Wednesday 21 January 2015 at 11:00. She will also take a tour of the mile-long exhibition.

Other speakers to look out for include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, gamification and innovation advocate Ian Livingstone, CEO of Raspberry Pi Lance Howarth and director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Vicki Phillips. In all, the show will host more than 200 seminars from over 200 speakers across two venues – Bett Arena and Learn Live.

Exhibition floor

Of course, like any exhibition, Bett Show’s prosperity is securely tethered to the strength of its exhibitor list. With over 600 companies from every corner of the technology and learning sectors, there will be lots of food for thought and new technology aplenty.

More than 20 years since introducing the world’s first interactive whiteboard, SMART Technologies is focusing on an emerging market. The company will use the show to emphasise its offering of interactive flat panels. The SMART Board 6065 interactive flat panel will be on display, along with brand new models that are set to expand the size, feature and price options for customers. For the first time in the UK, Bett attendees will also be able to see the new SMART kapp digital capture board, which was launched in North America last year.

Collaboration will be key for Crestron as the company highlights its wireless solutions. The company will be showcasing AirMedia, its wireless HD presentation solution for classrooms and small lecture theatres. Featuring plug-and-play installation, AirMedia brings presentation, collaboration and content sharing capabilities to classrooms that aren’t wired for an AV system. Up to 32 people can connect to an existing display over WiFi and wirelessly present HD content from their smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Crestron’s new DMPS3-200-C and DMPS3-300-C all-in-one presentation systems will also be on display.

Casio will mark five years of lamp-free projectors at Bett, and promises to unveil a surprise that will further revolutionise the learning environment. Phil Clark, head of projection at Casio, comments: “ Each year, we have built upon our achievements and are delighted to be celebrating five years since eradicating mercury based lamps, though a showcase of our innovations. The Ultra Short Throw projector encapsulates just how far we’ve come, facilitating a large-scale image projected from just 27cm, virtually eliminating shadowing on screen and enabling teachers to interact with the screen at close range.”

Sony will showcase its full range of education technology innovations, demonstrating its vision of technology as an enabler of engaged learning. The company is keen to demonstrate how multimedia content and interactive learning can be implemented through the latest technology. Products on show will include the world’s brightest 3LCD laser installation projectors, Vision Presenter – its 4K compatible presentation and collaboration solution – as well as the smart 4K BRAVIA touchscreen solutions.

Damien Weissenburger, business head for presentations and communications at Sony Europe, says: “The past year has seen us breaking through technological boundaries to improve our product offering. The growing use of new technology within education is already incredibly exciting, and as a result so is the potential for development in the market.”

Ahead of Bett 2015, Epson has been challenging UK schools to ‘Exceed Their Vision’ in a competition celebrating creative, original projects. Entries will be displayed on Epson’s stand and the winner will be announced at the exhibition on Friday 23 January. The winning school will also receive a suite of Epson products worth £7,500.

Tripleplay will add to its array of educational technology solutions with the launch of TripleShow Live Presenter. This new lecture-capture solution enables any institution to record, stream and archive lectures or lessons simply and easily using a web browser for control.

Tripleplay’s chief technical officer, Peter Martin, is delighted to add to the company’s product portfolio: “Educators are real leaders in technological investment and adoption, driving change that many other industries avoid. So, it is important that people such as us are providing high-quality solutions that cater to those needs. By introducing TripleShow we can now offer any school, college or university an entire, end-to-end, digital media learning platform, saving the need for expensive and time-consuming integration work and centralising all control and operation.”

Onelan and onemedia will be showing a range of products and services, including a 4K videowall managed by a single user interface. The onemedia Digital Noticeboard will also be available, which offers a flexible way of communicating messages to pupils, staff and visitors using new or existing TVs.