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BETT 2013: Learning curve

With a new home, a focus on lifelong learning and some high-profile guest speakers, BETT 2013 has plenty to offer all strands of the education sector.

From its new location of ExCeL London, BETT 2013 will encompass lifelong learning, showcasing solutions for universities and businesses as well as schools. The show has seen organic growth of visitors from the higher education sector over the years, attracting more than 2,200 in 2012. The conference programme will support this, with ‘Technology in Higher Education’ offering more than 14 hours of free-to-attend seminars hosted by experts within the higher education sector and their corporate counterparts. Confirmed speakers include Graeme Davies, chairman of the Higher Education Policy Institute, Susannah Quinsee, director of learning development at City University London, and Rob Fraser, IT director at Sainsbury’s.

Other high-profile guest speakers include Professor Brian Cox, professor of particle physics at Manchester University and one of the leaders on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva – as well as a familiar face on British television. In a session entitled ‘Bringing Science to Life in Schools’, he will share his passion for physics and talk about the educators who inspired him to innovate and excel. His talk will take place at 12:30 on 1 February, in the BETT Arena, which has been constructed for the first time this year and can accommodate an audience of up to 1,000 people.

Also in the arena, Sugata Mira will discuss ‘A Journey Around the World of Child Centred Learning’ and Tim Rylands will head ‘Back to their Future’, an exploration of ways to engage and motivate students.

What to see
On the showfloor, the main theme on the Casio stand will be ‘The Future of the Classroom’; the company will be displaying what the classroom of the future will look like and comparing this to learning environments of the past.
Casio will also be running the final of its Casio Bright Minds competition, which aims to highlight the enterprising ideas of students across the UK. Five finalists will be giving their pitch, with the winner chosen by a panel of celebrity judges, including Young Apprentice 2011 winner Zara Brownless and Apprentice 2012 runner up, and founder of, Nick Holzherr.

Crestron will be showcasing how the learning process can be greatly advanced, for staff as well as pupils, through the inclusion of its interactive controls and automation solutions. Products on show include the Crestron HDMI over Shielded Twisted Pair Extender (HD-EXT1-C), which delivers professional-grade digital HD AV signal extension for use in the home, classroom, auditorium or corporate boardroom. The company is also expanding the DigitalMedia Presentation System (DMPS) line to include a complete family of all-in-one digital presentation solutions.

Hitachi will be showing the StarBoard LINK EZ2-Pen portable interactive whiteboard for the first time in the UK. The system can be mounted to any flat surface or a whiteboard to form an interactive area providing all the features of an IWB. The interactive area is resizable and can be extended from 60 to 90in. The system can be used with new or already acquired equipment – it is compatible with any LCD projector, whiteboard and computer. Compact and light, the StarBoard LINK EZ2-Pen can be mounted magnetically to any standard whiteboard, then moved from classroom to classroom or stored away for safekeeping.

Onelan will be showing its latest products including a new small-format IPTV server that provides a cost-effective solution for streaming live TV to ONELAN players in foyers, corridors and refectories; ONELAN’s Data Capture Engine, which enables capture, collation and re-purposing of data stored in Excel files, SQL databases and Google Calendar for applications including timetables, diaries and room booking; and a new small-format HD Net-Top-Box player for installation behind screens.

Onemedia, whose services are exclusively based on ONELAN’s Net-Top-Box player, will also be on the stand to demonstrate its content services for existing users needing assistance with a refresh of tired content as well as those wanting to renew their hardware warranty.

Pride of place on the Paradigm AV stand will be a display wall, using two ultra-short throw projectors, edge blended using scalable display technology software. Also featured will be a collaborative meeting space, with the Paradigm Display Wall as the main display, using a collaborative software solution that will provide connectivity and interaction across the stand network. The software requires no special hardware and is compatible with all major software applications for Windows and Macintosh OS X, enabling it to support an array of team collaboration space configurations.

Paradigm AV will also show the Paradigm Multi-touch table, using capacitive foil interactivity and a laptop/
tablet to communicate with the main display.

At BETT 2013, Promethean will promote new teaching and learning strategies along with solutions for increasing collaboration, motivating students and improving classroom productivity. The company will continue to build on its suite of collaborative learning solutions by unveiling software that enables full integration of multiple devices in the classroom. Teachers and students will be able to use intuitive movements to share documents, for example, from an iPad to an ActivBoard or to an ActivTable or tablet.

In addition, Promethean will launch upgrades to its ActivTable, ActivEngage and ActivInspire software, giving users additional functionality and capabilities.

The focus for Vivitek will be on the European debut of its interactive visual learning solutions. This includes NovoBoard, a cost-effective way to transform non-interactive whiteboards to dual-finger-touch whiteboards; ViviTeach, an interactive whiteboard software programme; and ViviClass, a package that utilises tablet technology to achieve a new level of teacher/student interaction within the classroom environment.

“The BETT Show is the key education show on the trade show calendar,” says Brian Grogan, sales manager EMEA, Vivitek. “We recognise this, which is why we are taking the opportunity to launch our key new interactive solutions for the education sector at the show. Delegates will have the opportunity to preview some of the most exciting visual learning solutions to hit the market in a long time. We’ll be running hands-on demonstrations of the products and I look forward to welcoming teacher and student feedback and input throughout the show.”