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Bett

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by McDiploma, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. Was in Bett yesterday. Lots of the usual stuff with interactive whiteboards being all over the place, still being sold as a sort of saviour to education! Same old computing companies selling great PCs. It was a shame to still hear a deafening silence on why ICT in schools is is in a state. No one in the seminars suggested IT should be the new Bacc. A sort of hysteria seems to be spreading about embedding IT, which is very disappointing although I suspect this will fizzle out when the realists get their acts together.Quite an increase in companies from China, which was interesting. some interesting stuffon thin clients and cloud compuing.

    Anyone find anything interesting?
     
  2. It was the first time I had attended and I was disappointed with what was on show, IWBs are surely established everywhere that can afford them, yet it seemed 50% of floorspace was taken up with companies trying to flog them. I did have an interesting conversation at the Microsoft stand about Kodu and Little Basic, which I am definitely going to use when my Y9 start doing GCSE Computing in September.
     
  3. For fear of blowing my trumpet on behalf of CAS, the Computing At School working group did present a seminar of ways of making ICT lessons more interesting using tools usch as BYOB, StarLogo TNG and App Inventor at BETT 2011. It was not their role to bemoan the state of ICT in schools but to offer up some excellent alternatives that accord with the NC and will motivate pupils. The image of the CD of tools and resources given away on that day is available from their website www.computingatschool.org.uk
     
  4. Carrying on as if everything is ticketyboo is not the way forward. The head-in-sand-let's-ignore-reality-isn't-this-bit-off-software-great approach just keeps ICT stuck firmly in the doldrums. The foundations need reinforcing. If organisations don't speak up, who will? No one listens to the troops. Many of us in my group were very disappointed with the seminars that yet again, when there was an opportunity to highlight the critical state of ICT in schools, with the media there and listening, no one took up the mantle.
    You can continue to promote Prezi, Animoto, LMC, Google Apps, shopping carts and anything else you want, but I doubt very soon there will be any proper computing or real use of ICT in schools in a few years, once the embeddists have their way.
    An opportunity missed again. Oh where is Spartacus when you need him?
     
  5. I am Spartacus.
     
  6. BETT is driven by commercial companies trying to make money, and it would appear from the 30000+ that attend versus the 10000 or so that are expected at the Education Show in March, that people's appetite for shiny kit as the solution to problems is as prevalent in schools as it is in business, local government and so on. Getting through the mass of IT solutions looking to take advantage of the lucrative schools market is difficult, so who is going to pay attention to the state of education in ICT/Computing. I had an interesting discussion with a guy from BCS (The Chartered Institute for IT), who suggested that they, as the representative body for IT professionals in the UK and owners of the Chartered IT Professional award, were trying to do just that. They also run the Academy of Computing, who are looking to promote computing as a schools discipline as distinct from ICT. Has anyone else had any dealings with BCS? Can we use them as a voice?
     
  7. I had the pleasure of taking these courses you're so rightly complaining about at school 2 years ago and now I'm working as an IT professional. I'm trying to make my industry (web design) aware of how out of how bad things are. I gave a very critical talk at an event called BeBettr on Friday which ran alongside BETT.
    It wasn't recorded, but I gave a similar talk a few months back and the video is here http://vimeo.com/16205262
    I was disappointed with the majority of stuff I saw at BETT. This year's theme seemed to be 3D interactive whiteboards and web filtering software, and very little focus on anything that helped teach hard skills, but it was interesting talking to people on stands such as AQA who, when I told them I'd taken their courses, rather quietly admitted there was a problem but blamed Ofqual.
    I'm getting a lot of web designers ask me "what can we do to improve ICT in schools?" Is there something we can do? Perhaps free training to teachers? Talking with exam boards? Putting pressure on big IT firms?
     
  8. I was surprised at how much 3D was being pushed by companies at BETT, I personally think 3D is a gimmick at the best of times, let alone in classrooms. It was my first year at BETT and I was disappointed by how out of touch the few companies I interacted were. One VLE company claimed 50MB is a lot of space for students because 'in my day we lived on 5MB'.
    I must say it is nice to see more teachers discussing the issues of computing vs ICT here as it is something I've been struggling with ever since I started my GTP in September. From what I've seen so far, part of the problem is that there is a large majority of ICT Teachers who aren't actually trained in computing or IT and would find themselves struggling if they found they had to teach anything more than ICT skills. Free training would probably be a big help - but is that feasible? Even though a lot of ICT Teachers are not specifically trained in IT or computing - the majority of those I've worked with are still trying to challenge and inspire their students as best as they can.
     

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