As the legs begin to show signs of fatigue, you've lost count of the number of coffees you've drunk, and the constant background noise quietens to the point where you can almost make out individual voices, there is no escaping the fact that BETT 2017 is here, it's happening, and it's bigger and better than ever!
It's been a busy day on all fronts for the Microsoft team, and across all corners of the exhibition floor there has been something for everyone! One of the most exciting arrivals this week is Surface Studio, which continues to wow visitors to the stand:
— Microsoft Education (@microsofteduk) January 25, 2017
All day on the main stand we have also been running a full schedule of Learn Live Theatres sessions, Showcase Classroom workshops, covering everything from Windows 10 and devices, to Minecraft and Teacher CPD, and a whole lot more in between! These sessions run twice daily, so please refer to the full schedule to make sure you don’t miss out.
Looking beyond the Microsoft stand, speaking in the School Leaders Summit was Tom Rees, Head Teacher of Simon de Senlis Primary, a Microsoft Showcase School. His session focused on managing the sustainable growth of the Northampton Primary Academy Trust (now encompassing over 2.5k students across seven schools, all of which carry an Ofsted rating of Good or Outstanding), and how technology and data can be used to significantly impact the development of students at an individual level, as well as across an entire region.
"We are trying to grow carefully… Benefiting from the economy of scale to a point that we can run the trust really well, but without losing the personal touch that has got us to where we are today."
Key to much of this is the use of Office 365 and Power BI integration, with Rees reflecting that "good tracking data enables better leadership and teaching", while stressing the importance of being able to visualise and share all kinds of data around progress with parents.
Turning back towards the Microsoft stand (or rather just next to it!), our expanded Microsoft Partner Campus was a hive of activity, with specific partners offing situational solutions for a variety of specific aims and objectives. The collaboration zone also offered the opportunity to try many technologies and platforms in a real-life setting, which proved hugely popular:
Further information about all the partners in the Microsoft Partner Campus can be found is this blog.
Taking centre stage later in the day was Anthon Salcito, Microsoft VP Worldwide Education, who delivered his keynote session in the BETT Arena.
Focussing on bridging the divide between the availability of technology and its potential, with what is actually happening, the key question posed was how do we make technology that's thoughtful for what teachers and students really need? Referring to the 'Five Cs' (Computational Thinking, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication and Creativity), Anthony was joined on stage by several guests to demonstrate different ways in which technology is driving transformation, particularly in STEAM.
After briefly touching upon this week's product announcements towards the end of his address (School Data Sync, Intune for Education, OEM devices), Anthony closed with a reminder that "a framework starts with a vision for change", a point echoed by his final guest on stage, Jason Marantz (Principle, Ark Swift School), who said: "Get that vision right. Map it out. Take it slow, and be prepared to change."
All throughout the day the Microsoft stand has been running a full schedule of Learn Live Theatres sessions, Showcase Classroom workshops, covering everything from Windows 10 and devices, to Minecraft and Teacher CPD, and a whole lot more in between! These sessions run twice daily, so please refer to the full schedule to make sure you don’t miss out.
There is so much happening here at BETT 2017 that is it difficult to get it all into one blog…! So if you are coming along in the next few days, be sure to pick up the 'Microsoft Experience at BETT' guide on your way in, to make sure you know what's happening and when!
That's all for today! If you have been to the stand and are heading home, then thank you for taking the time to visit us, and we wish you a safe and pleasant journey home. If you're inbound over the next few days then we can't wait to welcome you to any one of our many zones and experiences!
- Have a great BETT!