On Friday, 25th January, a team of eleven BSB staff visited the BETT show. Bett is the world’s biggest education technology event. As well as stall after stall of the latest gadgets and gizmos, there is a full programme of CPD on offer at Bett and across the road at The Education Show.
Ms Jennifer Kerstein, Phase 3 Leader and Year 6 Teacher at BSB Sitges, highlighted two key areas of learning from the BETT: “Creativity in the classroom and practical suggestions for implementation of technology in the classroom.
Creativity: Jason Isaacs in conversation with Michael Rosen reminded me of my favourite TED Talks by Ken Robinson. In the future, we do not know what skills children will need. We do know computers cannot be creative in the same way that we can. So, what opportunities are we providing for our children to be creative? On returning to school this will be a question that I ask myself regularly. Peter Reynolds, author of The Dot, made a simple and very practical suggestion: he explained, “The best way to inspire kids to be creative is to show them what it looks like.” For me, he also won quote of the day with the suggestion to “Lean outside of the box (without getting fired)”
Practical Suggestions: Abdul is a head teacher and an Apple distinguished teacher who presented some fabulous augmented reality apps. Hologo was my favourite of the apps that he showcased, taking AR to a whole new level with children stepping through a portal to discover new worlds, from the Great Wall of China to the Digestive System!
Paul Tullock is an Apple distinguished teacher, and, in his talk, he provided practical ideas for how to use technology to make your life easier. This was my favourite talk of the day, with simple strategies which I can implement immediately. The three areas which Paul focused on where the three Ss: Settings, Siri and Seesaw. Paul demonstrated how settings can be amended to support children with learning needs by allowing children to use dictation, use the iPad as a reader, or to change the screen colour. But it’s not only helpful for children with dyslexia: all children can benefit – you might even like to use dictation to help write your reports this week! Paul also demonstrated how to use split screen to have planning and drafting on the same screen.
Secondly, Paul talked about Siri. Siri can be used to support children with their spellings, as a thesaurus or for definitions. Furthermore, as teachers we can use Siri to set timers and reminders to give our homework. Finally, Seesaw was showcased as an effective tool for marking, and in Year 6 we are excited to trial the use of Seesaw to mark in a timely and effective fashion. Paul also explained that at his school they only use 7 apps – the Magnificent 7 – and I loved the idea of simplifying and stripping back technology so that we use a few apps well.
As you can see, we had a fantastic time and are coming back invigorated and full of small simple ideas to tweak our practice! The conference is an annual event and I would encourage you to register your interest early to Heather to get yourself on the trip for next year at The British School of Barcelona!”
Mr Richard Strafford, Director of IT and Computing at BSB Castelldefels, also said: “BETT helped me to get new ideas on how technology can be used in the classroom. There was a fantastic session on how augmented reality apps can be used on iPads to demonstrate things such as human anatomy. I also went to a number of Microsoft demonstrations to learn how we can further develop our use of Teams and OneNote. I will now be working closely with heads of department to decide how best to move forward with technology in the classroom at BSB.”
Mr Ricardo Sánchez, Digital Lead at BSB Sitges, also shared positive feedback from the visit: “I was pleased to share such an inspirational trip to the UK with the BSB team from Castelldefels and Sitges campuses. The journey was brilliant, getting to know more about implementing technology in the classroom. The BETT show showcases the best international learning technology, and it was absolutely amazing to discover and share ideas and new products of ICT in education.”
We look forward to seeing the impact of the visit on The British School of Barcelona student’s learning.