Here’s the second part of my BETT 2012 roundup, taking a look at the things that caught my eye in addition to the Interactive Whiteboards which I talked about in Part 1.
Here’s a quick summary of some of the things I saw:
BrainPop UK : BrainPop were showing their excellent range of videos which are perfect for the classroom. Moby was there for photo opportunities as always. They were also demonstrating the various new ways to access the BrainPop resources, including on a Playstation 3 and iPad – even more ways to make the BrainPop resources accessible at home. Also check out their free BrainPop Featured movie iPhone and iPad apps. Now you don’t need to have a PC at home to be able to use BrainPop.
2Simple – Purple Mash : 2Simple were there in force again this year showcasing their superb software range. The highlight of course was their Purple Mash online package which has an amazing selection of tools. If you teach in a primary school and haven’t seen what Purple Mash can do, then you must take a look!
I Am Learning : I Am Learning is a games-based revision and homework system which encourages learners both in and out of school. Students take park in games and quizzes with their scores tracked and stored for teacher assessment. I’ll be taking a look at this in more detail in a later blogpost but I liked what I saw, and it could prove to be a very useful resource for teachers.
Play Brighter : This is another website that allows teachers to set up games for their students. On PlayBrighter, you set your students ‘missions’. The games are designed so that success (which might be releasing a Number One single, or becoming a millionaire) is a clear goal that really means something to the student, not just a score that has to reached. It’s free, and looks like quite a fun tool. Like I Am Learning I think I’ll need to come back to this in a later blog post and have a proper play with the resources.
PoraOra: Pora Ora is a FREE 3D world designed to make learning fun, where primary school children are rewarded for completing educational tasks that are linked to the national curriculum. The educational content is embedded in games and quests throughout the world, so children really are learning while playing. Pora Ora is also a safe and supervised social networking site where children can learn how to interact safely online with parents gradually relaxing security settings as they get older. Looks interesting.
Primary Games : Mark Cogan at the Interactive Resources website has always produced some superb interactive games for maths, and other subjects. The online version allows teachers to subscribe and make the resources available across the school and the wider community. This year he was also showing off the new range of Primary Games apps for the iPhone and iPad which look great.
Zu3d - The Zu3D animation software was on show with a new version and animation kit. Owners of the older version can upgrade for a small fee. It’s a fun easy-to-use piece of software for making stop-motion animation and I highly recommend it. In a similar vein, also check out I Can Animate from Kudlian.
Skoog Music : I loved the look of this. A Skoog is an exciting new musical instrument designed to empower those unable to play traditional instruments. The Skoog is a soft, squeezable object that simply plugs straight into your computer or laptop’s USB port. By touching, pressing, squashing, twisting or tapping the Skoog you can play a wide range of instruments, intuitively. Designed for people with any degree or combination of physical, mental or behavioral difficulties. Looks like fun, especially for the musically-challenged such as myself.
Turning Point : The Turning Point range of response ware/voting systems has been expanded with the ResponseCard NXT which has a larger screen and a mobile phone style texting keyboard to respond to questions with full text or numerical answers. There was also the Presenter Card which is a radio device that allows teachers to physically move around a classroom while controlling their TurningPoint session. Teachers can start/stop polling as well as move forwards and back in a presentation, letting them ove away from the IWB.
I was also able to attend the launch of a book written by my good friend and colleague Angie McGlashon. Her book “Brilliant Ideas for Using ICT in the Inclusive Classroom” is an excellent guide to using ICT in the SEN classroom,but has lots of ideas for teachers in mainstream schools tool. You can buy a copy on Amazon, and I highly recommend you do!
And briefly: Word Wall were demonstrating their advanced student response system, which had quite a rugged feel to it, with a screen in the middle. Looked interesting. I also liked the look of AVerMedia’s wireless visualiser which has great potential in freeing up the visualiser so that it doesn’t have to be right next to the computer. Will make using it in science practical demonstrations much easier. Twig Science were proudly showing off their BETT award for their excellent science video collection – well worth a look. Oddizi also won an award for their primary digital content for geography.
So that’s it for BETT 2012. Next year it will be leaving Olympia and heading for the Excel centre in Docklands – for me this is a good move as it’s much easier to get to but it will be interesting to see how being at the new venue shakes up the exhibition. BETT 2013 is also a few weeks later in the year, giving me more time to recover from the ASE conference which is usually the week before.
See you next year!