BETT is the first of the big education tradeshows of the year. It’s a mammoth event, where the Ed-tech community congregates to share what is new in the industry.
Here are my three takeaways from BETT this year.
Evidence and Impact
Many ed-tech products are not effective or fit for purpose. Therefore it was wonderful to see at BETT a greater focus on sharing research and collaborating to ensure evidence based practice drives product development. Lucy Heady and Amy Solder have written a fabulous article on the Nesta blog about “What is the evidence for ed-tech?” and how evidence in ed-tech is finally getting some traction. More needs to be done but its nice to see that this area is growing.
Being mindful of our usage and approach to digital mediums is so very important. Finding ways to unplug, find balance and minimise distractions is certainly something most of us need to do. It’s refreshing to see organisations like Google developing tools to help with this and that there is more discussion around it in general. Technology is developing so quickly, therefore we need to continue to develop ways to interact with it better.
Using technology to develop key 21st century ‘soft’ skills is super important especially because of the importance of these skills in the modern day workplace. Technology is seen as an important partner in helping young people develop these skills. There was much discussion around this at BETT.
At Makematic we understand this need and with Participate we have created a series called the 4Cs. A series that delves into the important role communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity are in the modern day workplace. Series 1 gives an overview of each of the Cs, and how educators use them in their classes. In series 2 we hear from industry experts who describe how these skills are used in the workplace. Finally, series 3 and 4 help young people develop these skills on their own. We all have a part to play in developing skills in young people. Technology therefore has an important role to play in doing it.
Without a doubt for me it’s all about ed-tech evidence and how this will drive Makematic forward in the decisions we make in developing our own product. We always use evidenced based approaches in developing our videos and animations, so it’s nice to see that other organisations are making this a priority too.