Review of #BETT2016 by @gr8ict

Here is my assortment of notes from #BETT2016, including follow-up tweets and next steps. Sorry if I have missed anyone deserving of a mention.

Digital leadersCode ClubRaspberry Pi | MicrobitComputing Curriculum#Teacher5aday

Digital Leaders
It’s my fourth year in a row taking Digital Leaders to Bett, and this time was the best yet due to working with other colleagues and students for both the arena presentation and the #kidsmeet.
Highlights of the arena were @L_S_Stone’s 22 (yes twenty two) Year 1’s invading the arena with an assortment of Beetbots and Spheros, and of course, all our digital leaders standing up and demonstrating all the good work that is going on in these schools – Recreation Road Infant School, Norwich; Myrtle Park Primary School, Bradford; King Edward VI School, Southampton and Lady Lumley’s School, North Yorkshire. Supported by @L_S_Stone, @_Wossername_ and @rlj1981. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet some of my #dlchat colleagues afterwards as one of my year 7s was sick in the toilets. Luckily he recovered to enjoy Bett later.  Thanks to @clcsimon, @slr112 and @ThatEdTechGuy for tweets from the Arena.


Highlights of the #kmbett2016 were seeing the school leadership summit tent overflowing with digital leaders from at least eight schools. Also meeting #nightzookeeper (Paul Hutson) and catching up with @SheliBB and other DL coordinators. A big thank you to the hardworking teachers for bringing students to BETT (@HeadDownEyesUp and @Claire_N_Jones) and the volunteers such as @ictevangelist for giving up their time to provide the activities. Sophie, Karen and i2i made a big commitment to have more students at BETT2016 and I’m very grateful for their help and support.


Next steps:
> follow up having more students involvement at Bett next year

Code Club developments

My digital leaders explained how they are running Y9 and Y7 code clubs at school.

DLs_BETT16_IMG_0949 DLs_BETT16_IMG_0954 DLs_BETT16_IMG_0959 DLs_BETT16_IMG_0961

I also had the opportunity to meet @Wishtrac team  and swap ideas for the Raspberry Pi.  I already have all their kits for my coding clubs.

Next steps:

encourage my younger digital leaders to have coding hardware out and more often at lunchtimes including our bb8 and parrot drone.
> ask my younger digital leaders to explore the following apps: Tickle; MacroLab; Sphero’s Sprk Lightning Lab; Sphero; Tynker and Orb basic

> decide on Explorer Hats or RasPiO Pro Hats and have hardware out more often including @wishtrac’s kits
> encourage more girls to come to coding clubs and promote STEAM (Art as well as STEM – there’s a great article here Creativity in technology.
I am looking at more units with games – especially minecraft – as Currently, more than half of gamers are female.

Raspberry Pi

A big shout out to everybody at the Raspberry Pi foundation. They had a very ambitious programme and I for one am very grateful that they were at Bett, especially as I got to hear and meet Andrew Mulholland @gbaman1, the creator of PiNet, which I need urgently in my classroom of Raspberry Pi’s. See here for my notes.

I took my request for more encouragement for full classroom use of Raspberry Pi’s to Trustee Pete Lomas (who handed me a Raspberry Picademy certificate 10 months ago) and Sam Aaron. In my opinion, there is too much emphasis on hacking and small-group use of Raspberry Pi’s in coding clubs, when there should be much more push for class sets and integration into the mainstream computing curriculum. Following @jrobinson_uk ‘s suggestions at #Picademy, and collaborating with @robjones_cowley (who I serendipitously sat next to at the York #microbit Roadshow), I have blogged in detail describing how to set up a class set of Raspberry Pi’s with KVM switches so they sit alongside existing desktops.

I also enjoyed talking with Oliver Quinlan, recently appointed in charge of research at the foundation. For those of us who remember NOF training, I really want to see a focus on effective pedagogy for Computer Science teaching and learning, and less focus on what the hardware is and what it can do (although, *obviously* this is important to start with). Oliver was very patient with me, and I got the impression that he may be thinking along some of the same lines. Oliver also reminded me of the benefits of GPIO zero from @ben_nuttall and I think this is the missing link for my KS3 Scheme of Learning for Year 9 next year.

Next steps:
> Install PiNet
> stay in touch with Oliver Q
> Develop use of GPIO zero

So, the Micro:bits “should be with teachers around half term, so that teachers have the chance to get used to them, try them etc, before the students get them later in the term”.
There are more than 120 projects available now and having talked to Clare on the Microsoft stand, I will use the availability of the Microbit to consider moving to office 365 as many of the resources are embedded.

Next steps:
> #Office365 is free for teachers right here
> prepare for the Microbit with my Y7 and Y8 digital leaders

Computing Curriculum
I finally met Pat Heathcote and Rob Heathcote of We use a large number of their teaching units at KS3 and 4 with the new computing curriculum and Rob has been a great help in the last year. Rob mentioned that he hopes there will soon be a Greenfoot unit which will tie in nicely for some of my North Yorks colleagues wanting to do EDUQAS computing GCSE.
Bett wouldn’t be BETT without a chance encounter with Christina (Preston, founder of Mirandanet). She alerted me to the Cambridge GCSE Computing Online course based on OCR’s GCSE Computing.

Next steps:
> mention PGOnline’s Greenfoot unit to North Yorks colleagues
> enrol on Cambridge GCSE Computing Online course

And lastly, as a balance to the whirl that is edtech, and all the bright lights, I happened upon a presentation from @MartynReah and other teachers who are advocates for :


I started #Teacher5aday in January – pledge here  – and I’m finding the hashtag a useful source of inspiration and resources

Next steps:
> follow Abbiemann1982 and Jenna Lucas @JennaLucas81
> watch kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend