BETT 2016 was different for me this year since I was spending most of the time working on the Prowise stand offering IWB Masterclasses. This meant I didn’t get as much time as usual to wander around the show and look at new products. I spent more time talking to people about whiteboards and pointing at screens!
But I still got to see a few things, plus catch up with some good friends that I only ever seem to meet at BETT once a year!
Most of the show was full of shiny big screens, shiny tablets and shiny 3D printers. It was a very shiny show! Most of which had been there last year. Promethean were showing off updates to ClassFlow and SMART were showing SMART Kapp and the Smart Learning Suite neither of which I had much of a chance to explore, sadly. Will report on those when I can.
So here’s some of the things that caught my eye.
I’ll start with the company that paid me to be there! Prowise were demonstrating their range of excellent interactive screens, going up to a 4K 84 inch model. If you are looking at an alternative to other brands of IWB, then these are well worth considering. Their Prowise Presenter software runs in the cloud, so there’s nothing to install and you can get a basic version for free, with good deals on site licences. It also has built-in connectivity to tablets with ProConnect. Well worth exploring.
Nureva is created by the brains behind the original Smartboard, Nancy Knowles and David Martin. Whilst most companies are moving from projectors to screens, Nureva are sticking with them, and combining multiple panoramic projectors into super-sized interactive spaces. Small sensors on the walls made the projectors interactive, able to pick up multiple finger touches all over the wall.
The system that combines these projectors with a cloud-based service and apps for tablets and other devices. The Nureva Span classroom collaboration system enables students to capture their thoughts, share them on an expansive canvas and then actively collaborate with classmates.
It’s an interesting alternative to standard whiteboard systems, but you might need to be creative to fit it into a classroom. You can find out more here.
The purpose of Pobble 365 (formerly Lend Me Your Literacy Picture of the Day) is to make it easy for busy teachers to create engaging lessons. Every day, their site features a new interesting picture to spark a lesson, together with writing prompts and philosophical questions that you can use with your students on a smartboard screen, or printed out with our easy-to-use PDFs.
Methodmaths is a useful interactive website where students can practise official Edexcel, OCR and KS2 exam papers. Built on the principles of active revision and reflective learning, methodmaths will help foster independent learning skills and exam preparation away from the classroom. If you’re looking for a tool to help your students prepare for their maths exams, then this is worth a visit.
I’ve already written about Lego WeDo 2.0 in a separate blog post. It’s a great update to the WeDo range, offering a wireless system that connects to your computer or tablet via Bluetooth.
Recommended, if a bit pricey.
DK Find Out
DKfindout! is a free, safe online encyclopaedia for kids. It allows children to search, learn, and explore information on a safe and secure site. The clear, reliable, and highly visual content covers all curriculum subjects and more! There are also quizzes, videos and animations. Useful as an alternative to Wikipedia, especially with younger children. Visit it here.
Wordwall is an interactive activity maker which allows teachers to make resources to use with a whole class. You can use them on any brand of interactive whiteboard, or just with a projector.