BETT is just around the corner…

Only two days until BETT, and it’s currently all-hands-on-deck to get everything ready for the opening day of the show. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that 80% of the people that come through the doors visit the Microsoft stand – which makes us the busiest stand at the show. And so everything’s got to be right by 10am! Yesterday the first team on site will have started laying the data and electrical cables, which have to be down before the floor is fitted, ready for the structure of the stand. Sometime on Sunday, while I was enjoying the day with the family, somebody will have been crawling beneath the floor with Ethernet cables, connecting our two stands together onto a single network.

But you probably don’t want to know about that. What your probably more interested in is what the stand will contain. So here’s a summary view of the things you can pop along to see:

  • Microsoft Surfacethe first time in a public event in the UK, and pretty exciting (I’ve been playing with one on-and-off for the last fortnight, and it still makes me smile at how clever it is).

  • The Wall of Cool – a dozen netbooks – small, low cost laptops – for you to look at and compare. Although there are loads of suppliers at BETT, all showing off their latest mini laptops, you can’t visit a stand elsewhere where they are all lined up together. We’re putting them all into our Wall of Cool, so that you can compare them side by side, and you’ll be able to see how their speed, graphics, weight and design vary between manufacturers and price brackets. (I looked at them all on Thursday, and there’s some big differences between them, and some obvious winners in the dozen!). I’m not going to give the game away, so come and take a look yourself. And if you have preferences, drop me an email to let me know how you’d arrange them into your personal Wall of Cool.

  • Plenty of schools talking in the theatre. We’ve got a cracking line-up of schools and local authorities, all telling their own stories of how they’re using ICT to enhance learning. Schools include Broadclyst, Shireland, Twynham, New Line Learning, Warwickshire local authority and Bowring.

  • The Digital Literacy Curriculum – we’ve got an announcement on that on the schedule for Wednesday, so I’ll have to wait until then before I can tell you more than you can see here.

  • And finally, we’ll also be making some announcements about our support for the Government’s Home Access Programme. Some details are already here, but more will be out this week.

Plenty more to come later, but hopefully that’s enough to whet your appetite. And if you’re coming along, look me out and say hello.

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