Kids can’t learn at school anymore!

What are our kids learning these days? Sitting in classrooms playing with their iPods, spending more time on Facebook than paying attention in class… why aren’t they engaged with the learning!!!

If you often find yourself pondering the above, it sounds like you should have come to BETT conference last week and seen what the future of Better education technology is! It’s the place where UK teachers visit to pick up what they hope will be the best software, hardware and technology for teaching the British Curriculum.

Since Thought Den started attending, way back in 2009, there has been a paradigm shift in the how the crowds experience most of the new programs;  screen based clicking has been replaced with touch screens, and learners no longer crowd around one PC game but each have their own tablet device. The advent of surface computing has been another exciting concept at BETT.

This year more companies are picking up on mobile apps, remote learning and preparing equipment for every student to have a smartphone or tablet to learn with.

It’s becoming more about making use of the wealth of available technology. Children are bringing devices in naturally, so rather than telling them to switch it off, let’s engage them with learning using the tech they understand!

Importantly this year as we’ll be looking at some heavy changes in the ICT Curriculum. State Education is realising the importance of teaching learners about the inners of the software they’re creating and the circuits of the computer they’re working on.  Children should be taught that they are masters of the devices, rather than a slaves to them, and that they don’t have to be constrained by the available software but can create whatever they can think of with the wonders of programming.

With such a selection of products I really don’t envy any teachers making decisions for what to spend their budget on. The iPad is a new invention and only two years old, the 3D printer is only really making a breakthrough into affordability and the app store still has nappies on.

Everything is so young. And probably still about to be replaced in the next two years again.

So, what were my best and worst bits of BETT this year?

Cool BETT

NAO, the logic robot that teaches learners to start playing with programming – made by http://aldebaran-robotics.com/

Logic Robot

Safe BETT

A certificate in Safe Social Networking – www.digitalme.co.uk/safe

Best BETT

An Award winning suite for learning on multiple devices: tablets, iPads – www.ko-su.co.uk

Technology Master BETT

Understanding the innards of DVD Readers, Routers, Scanners… the lot! – www.labtech.org

I BETT you need to learn some more…

There were more apostrophes missing again this year, even from some BETT signs!

Thank you BETT, we’re looking forward to 2013 already.

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