"Dear Boss" – getting yourself to BETT


BETT 2009 is on the horizon already – only 69 days to go* until 14th January.



For most exhibitors, it’s more than “on the horizon”, as it’s been “the day job” for a few months already, as we’ve all been planning how to show you things that make you swoon interested at the show!


Inspired by Steve Clayton’s “PDC2008: Dear Boss” blog post, I thought it we should have a “Dear Boss” letter for BETT – something which points out what a fantastic investment a day (or two) at BETT is. So here’s my attempt at a handy template letter to get you out of school for the day/week:



Dear {Enter Your Head’s Name Here},


I enjoy my job and have always appreciated how well you manage me. As you know, I don’t ask for much. I am a humble employee with simple needs, and I would like to attend the BETT Exhibition in London on 14th-17th January next year. And I'd like to invite you to come with me this year!


Wait! Before you respond, let me explain. This is not the typical exhibition that is more about a day out of school than about learning. BETT is where the best and brightest come together from schools and from the educational technology industry.


As well as our chance to see what’s new (and help us to make the most out of our ICT budget) it’s also a chance to listen to the experiences of lots of other schools, and learn from the things that they’ve done well, and also from the lessons they have learnt along the way. Remember when we found out that the whiteboards were too high up the wall for our pupils to reach? Well, we might not have had to get the caretaker premises maintenance manager to move them all if we’d had the chance to talk to other schools about their experiences.


And you know that you’re always complaining about the deluge of paperwork and acronyms? Well, we’ve got the chance to go and hear seminars that will tell us what the next set of initiatives and acronyms are going to be all about – QCA’s Primary Framework, DCSF’s Universal Home Access programme, BECTA’s Next Generation Learning, and OCR’s Digital Literacy Curriculum. Who knows, perhaps we’ll get the chance to be one of the first to take part in a new initiative (like you so wisely say “the early bird catches the worm and budget” in these new programmes)


But it isn’t just the exhibitors and the speakers; it’s the other attendees. These are some of the smartest folks using the same tools and technologies we are, and facing the same challenges we have. We can learn a lot from them and see how they have overcome issues we have run into. I keep reading the blogs (on my own time, of course) and everyone says that networking is one of the top reasons to attend.


I promise we won’t come home empty handed. We will come back with a ton of information from Becta, DCSF, QCA, SSAT and other agencies, as well as a pile of useful information for every subject department in the school.


Finally, I know we'll come back inspired. BETT is where the government and the education ICT industry lays out its future strategy. You had the most spectacular idea yesterday about how we need to be a little more transformational. By going to EBTT, we will see the future and come back with ideas for how we can make your genius idea a reality.


Thanks in advance for your approval on my humble request, and I hope yo can come too. As a minimum I promise to bring you back a trip report, the first pick from the freebies bag and a very inspired and much smarter employee.


Your favorite employee,
{Enter Your Name Here}


ps The BETT organisers will also treat you like a VIP - they'll give you exclusive access to the "Leadership Lounge". Don't worry about me, I'll be happy eating my sandwiches on the carpet, whilst you're enjoying the Olympia equivalent of an airport executive lounge.


I’m sure this letter isn’t yet perfect – what else would you add?



* How about my Excel skills? =DATE(2009,1,14)-TODAY()

Comments (2)

  1. GrumbleDook says:

    IT might work even better if you try to persuade the Headteacher to come down with you too. The following year it should be the senior leadership and key staff in each subject area and eventually take everyone down for an INSET day.

    BETT is not just about the ICT co-ordinator, the head of ICT or the Network Manager. There is something for pretty much everyone!

  2. Ray Fleming says:

    Good point GrumbleDook – I’ve changed the letter to reflect it.

    Ray

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