BETT 2016 Day One: Microsoft stand welcomes Secretary of State for Education

A decidedly chilly morning in London's Docklands region soon transformed into a red hot day of activity, as the exhibitors and attendees at the ExCel took a collective deep breath, and launched head first into the a phenomenally busy but hugely enjoyable opening day at BETT 2016. It's been a pleasure speaking to so many educators, students, partners and education IT professionals on our stand and in the Microsoft Partner Village.

As was the case last year, our Learn Live Theatre was once again operating at maximum capacity (often spilling out into the concourse!) as people flocked to hear our Expert Educators and School Leaders share their stories of how they are using technology to improve the way they teach, and ultimately redefine learning. Sessions included using Power BI to utilise data in making better decisions as a school or trust, collaboration with OneNote Class Notebooks, inspiring a new generation of tech pioneers with the BBC micro:bit, and an update on all things Minecraft in the wake of yesterday's announcement of the new Minecraft: Education Edition.


In amongst all of this we were also thrilled to welcome the Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education, who got to grips with the BBC micro:bit, witnessed real-time musical composition with StaffPad on the 84" Surface Hub by the app's creator, David William Hearn, and spoke with members of the Minecraft in Education team who will be with us on the stand all week.

As well as all this we've been running interactive sessions in the Showcase Classroom, giving participants hands on experience using Surface 3s in a number of educational scenarios, allowing them to take what they've learned back into the classroom the very next day.

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But for many visitors to the stand, the main allure has been the Minecraft section, with 'blocky' furnishings and decorations familiar to all, and a range of devices to play the BETA version of the latest Minecraft Education Edition.

It's been a thoroughly enjoyable day for all of us here, and we look forward to seeing even more of you over the next few days. All of the Learn Live Theatre and Showcase Classroom sessions will be repeated over the rest of the week, so if you're planning a visit to BETT 2016 be sure to come along to our stand and visit the Microsoft Partner Village.

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