BETT 2009 – ideas and impressions (from Kristen)

Stuart and I spent the last week at the BETT show in London, and although we fully intended to blog during the show, I don't think either of us had a chance to even open up our laptops for the entire week. It was an incredibly busy and exciting week, and we both came away with loads of ideas and new information.

For those of you who couldn't attend, I'll list some of my highlights from the week. (Stuart will write about his in a separate post.)IMG_0139

Microsoft Surface. We announced the new Surface technology on our stand at last year's BETT show, but this year, we had Surface on the stand and gave interactive presentations throughout the day. This part of our stand was constantly packed with attendees, who were also given a chance to play with the technology themselves. There was quite a buzz around the Surface throughout the event. We've heard of some schools that have purchased Surface already, and we're very interested to know how they will be using it. We think the possibilities are endless. (Learn more at

Exciting resources for teachers. I was fortunate to attend many events outside of the BETT show and listened to some truly inspirational speakers. Many of them were practitioners who suggested ICT resources that they are using with their learners. Some of the highlights here were:

  • Turning the Pages from the British Library. This is not a new tool, but we haven't blogged about it yet. The Mozart "improved" version uses Windows Vista and Silverlight to allow anyone to browse through some of the most important books in the British Library's collection, such as Leonardo da Vinci's notebook and Mozart's musical diary (shown here). Students can read or listen to additional information about each text and can zoom in or use a magnifier to examine the texts in further detail. Check it out HERE.

  • Microphilanthropy for everyone. You may have heard about the Nobel prize-winning Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and the work they've done providing small loans to individuals to whom large banks would never lend. Now anyone can help finance an entrepreneur at I listened to stories of educators using this site with students who raise money to help fund some of the projects. Just think about how more meaningful a lesson can become if your students are actually able to help someone who is less fortunate as a result of their work!

  • MIT Opencourseware. Now any of your students can listen to some of MIT's best professors lecture on a number of topics, completely free. Click HERE for MIT's site.

IMG_3564 This blog entry wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention Stuart's twice-daily theatre presentations on the Microsoft stand as a highlight. He presented with Dave Garland and Dan Roberts from Saltash .NET Community School in Cornwall on the Innovative Teachers Network and how Saltash is using it in CPD projects with their teachers. Stuart also demonstrated how teachers can use OneNote, and the theatre was packed for each of his presentations. (Read Stuart's earlier blog about OneNote HERE.)

At left, Dan Roberts and Stuart presenting on the Microsoft stand

If you were at BETT, let us know. What did you learn? What did you take away that you'll use with your students?

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