BETT 2010 wrap-up – and NEW Parental Engagement materials

Well…BETT 2010 ended for us on Saturday night, as we literally limped to the train station to head home. After four days on the Microsoft stand and four evenings out at business dinners, I, for one, was utterly exhausted. But it was a great week. Here are the highlights for the Partners in Learning team: Capture

  • Launching the Innovids Teacher Video Competition and giving away 10,000 memory sticks announcing the contest. If you weren’t able to come to BETT to pick up a memory stick, last week’s blog post and the Partners in Learning Network will tell you everything you need to know about entering the contest – and possibly winning 20 netbooks for your school!
  • Attending the BETT awards dinner, where the Partners in Learning Network was a finalist in the Service and Support category. We didn’t win, but we had a great table of our partners from the UK and abroad and had a fantastic time celebrating the work we’ve done this year.
  • Meeting so many teachers on the Microsoft BETT stand. Stuart and I had four days worth of conversations with teachers during the week. We couldn’t have spoken to everyone without the help of our colleagues Alan Hamilton and Dave Garland, who were a huge help throughout the week. Thanks, Alan and Dave!
  • Speaking to new content partners who want to give away FREE content on the Partners in Learning Network in the new year. Stay tuned for updates on this one in the coming weeks and months.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the week came on the very first morning, though, when Minister for Schools and Learners Vernon Coaker used one of the videos we created with the DCSF in his speech to open BETT! For the past few months, the Partners in Learning team have been travelling to schools all around England, speaking to them and filming their stories of using technology to better engage parents in their children’s learning.

Research shows that when parents take an active interest in continuing their children’s learning outside of school kids perform better in school. And secondary schools have a requirement to provide real-time online reporting to parents in 2010 (primaries will follow in 2011). We found three secondary schools and two primary schools who are all in different environments and circumstances (urban, rural, large, small, etc) and who have had some really creative ideas to help them address the challenges of bringing parents into the school’s community.

Capture We’ve created two videos and one written case study for each of the five schools.

– The Overview video tells the story of each school, why they felt engaging with parents was important, and the impact they’ve seen as a result of the work they have done.

– The How To video goes into more detail about the steps each school took to improve their relationship with parents, including the technology they used and how they addressed any challenges they faced in this process.

– And the written case study is a printable reference you can take away with you if you want to share these schools ideas with others at your school.

The Minister chose to show the overview video from Blatchington Mill School in Hove, East Sussex, but all 10 videos are fantastic, and available on the Microsoft Web site. The other schools we worked with are:


  • Clunbury C.E. Primary School, Shropshire

  • Monkseaton High School, Tyne & Wear
  • Hawes Side Primary School, Blackpool, Lancashire
  • Twynham School, Christchurch, Dorset


A big thank you goes to all of these schools for giving us such great stories to tell. We hope you’ll check out these videos on and that you’ll learn something new that you can use at your school.

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