Creating a better future by transforming education – BETT Reflections, by Emma Overton


BSB Castelldefels Head of Early Years and Primary Emma Overton and Year 5 Teacher Asha Gilbert had a very fruitful visit to this year’s BETT. “The world of technology in education seems to be moving away from the gimmicky, bright shiny things to having more of a focus on creative teaching and learning, using a variety of simple and easy tools and ideas”, Mrs Overton says, “When you see key educationalists delivering keynotes, you know they have got the focus right. We had the opportunity to see/hear/meet some of them at the show”.

BETT is one of the biggest educational technology exhibitions in Europe, which happens annually in London. It is an opportunity for the global education community to share ideas, practices and technologies to “create a better future by transforming education”, so reads BETT’s mission.

“There was a mixture of keynotes delivered by the high-profile educationalists to the everyday teachers, and schools, who have the opportunities to share their stories, and inspire.” Emma explains, sharing her excitement. “There was also a plethora of stands – some huge stands owned by the big players, such as Google, Microsoft or the BBC, who were offering a host of training sessions, demos and 1:1 clinics. Apple Education (who usually run their own conference this week alongside BETT), have come together, and offered some Apple Teacher training sessions in pop-up classrooms. Other stands, smaller companies and businesses who have new initiatives and ideas, were also wowing the crowds, not everything is technology related either!”

Emma and Asha were looking for inspiration, technology tips and ideas to further enrich the project-based approach to learning which is used to deliver their Primary curriculum, a challenge-based learning approach where developing problem solving, independence and resilience in pupils is a central part of our teaching, and where technology and innovation plays a key role across all curriculum areas.


Pie Corbett and Professor Sugata Mitra

Inspiring keynote from renowned educationalist and author Pie Corbett was one of the highlights of Emma and Asha’s visit this year. “We all know the lovely ‘Talk4Writing’ Guru! Asha and I watched him deliver a Keynote about ‘Creativity’, reminding us how much we should harness the children’s imagination in order to help them explore all areas of the curriculum”, Emma explains.

From 20 years of travels around the world, Professor Sugata Mitra described the changes that schools need to make to become meaningful in a world where what we need to know is no longer evident. Emma continues “Sugata was a headline Keynote speaker in the main BETT Arena this year, and he didn’t disappoint. In his keynote, he took us through 20 years of experience with how children and the internet interact. He again spoke about the importance of creativity, and how the transferable skills (our learning habits) need to be the focus for education for the future. He really got us thinking!”.


About BETT

BETT is the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape, bringing together over 800 leading companies, 103 exciting new EdTech startups and over 34,000 attendees. People from over 146 countries in the global education community come together to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education, as well as seeing how technology and innovation enables educators and learners to thrive.