Top tips for making the most of Bett 2019

Bett is one of the largest edtech trade shows in the world with nearly 1000 exhibitors and around 35,000 attendees, and this year it’s bigger than ever with the addition of the Education Show, aimed at senior leaders.

We know it can feel overwhelming. So we’ve pooled our knowledge about the show and gathered our top tips to help you make your visit to Bett 2019 more manageable and productive.

*You might also like our 2018 blog post Shopping for devices at Bett? The great device debate



1. Pre-register

Avoid wasting time queuing on the day – pre-register and print your badge in advance.

2.  Come to our talk on digital criticality

We’ll be in the Bett Arena on Friday 25 January 13:30 -14:00 with Fact or fake? Developing critical learners in the digital age.

We’re going to explore what a critical mindset means in an online age of deep fakes, fauxtography and deliberate disinformation spreading swiftly across social media. It’s not just timely and relevant but also practical – come and discover some practical ways to engage children in critical evaluation of digital information in a range of contexts, supporting their learning and development both as consumers and creators of content of all kinds.

Still need convincing? Here’s five compelling reasons why you should come to our talk.

Not at Bett on Friday (or at all)? Don’t panic! We’ll be putting our talk – including video and slides – online afterwards. We’ll also be featuring all our digital criticality resources in a special edition of our weekly newsletter – sign up now to make sure you don’t miss it.

3. Plan your visit

Have a focus for your visit. Are you interested in VR? Do you need more printers? Know what you want to research, prepare your questions in advance and choose a few suppliers to visit to compare and contrast. The BETT site has a great filtering feature that allows you to pick out suppliers by sector, subject and product.  

4. Download the new and improved app

The Bett app is a really handy way of planning your day and navigating the show. It’s available for download on both android and ios and has been updated this year to let you pinpoint specific suppliers and create your own route map around the show floor. It also features [email protected], a free AI-powered contact recommendation function. 

5. Think comfy shoes and snacks

Your day will be long and tiring. ExCeL is situated within a 100-acre site in Royal Victoria Dock, the main exhibition space covers more than 41,000 square metres and walking from one end of the venue to the other can take a long time. Your fitbit will love you. So, wear comfy shoes, take a bottle of water and pack some snacks. There are lots of places to buy food but the queues can be long and the food is expensive. Save yourself the bother and pack a sandwich.

6. Check out the seminars

It’s worth spending a bit of time pre-visit picking out one or two seminars of interest. BETT offers a huge number of talks and these, combined with the free sessions provided by the suppliers, can leave you feeling like you’ve spent your day rushing from one venue to another. So, choose your seminars in advance and plan strategically as they also provide a chance for a bit of downtime in your day.  Here are a few recommendations to get you started:

Lifelong kindergarten: cultivating creativity through projects, passion, peers and play
23 Jan, 12.00-12.30, Bett Arena
Mitchel Resnik, LEGO professor of learning research, MIT, will explain why kindergarten-style learning is ideally suited to the needs of today’s society, with examples of technologies and activities developed by his research group at the MIT Media Lab, including the Scratch programming language and online community.

The classroom’s your stage, give creativity a starring role
24 Jan, 14.00-14.30, Bett Arena
Sir Anthony Seldon reveals how infusing creative capacities into any subject at all levels of study can have a profound impact on a young person’s learning and confidence.

Making technology work for schools: lessons from EDUCATE
24 Jan,   15.00-15.30 The Bett Arena
Hosted by Knowledge Lab, UCL, this session will explore the exciting and transformational learning that is possible with technology, as well as providing practical approaches on how to successfully integrate new technology into your school based on EDUCATE’s work with teachers. 

7. Check out the website for resources

Whether you’re at Bett or not, its website is worth a delve for interesting articles and resources. Take a look at EDUCATE’s edtech checklist for teachers, for example, or videos of talks recorded at the show.

8. Don’t get stuck in your ways. Or lost

There are some new areas to look out for this year. The Escape Room is an immersive experience for visitors to interact with classroom solutions and explore new products hands-on. Peer-to-Peer Connect is a separate space on the show floor for educators to meet away from the crowds, to relax and share information. There are also Bett Lates – content and networking events outside of traditional show hours.

And if you’re lost…there are information stations in the main entrance to the building.  If you need help finding a stand or have any questions about the show then head for these.  It could save you a lot of time.

9. Use social media

Keep track of the trending topics and people.  BETT has a facebook and twitter account.  Use the hashtag #BETT2019 and get involved or just keep abreast of the hot topics of the day. Don’t forget to follow us @LdnCLC – we’ll be tweeting useful info from around the show. And remember a spare charger for your phone…

And finally…

10. Come and see us!

Did we mention we’re giving a talk at Bett? About digital criticality? Oh yes. We’ll be hanging around afterwards if you’d like a chat so do come and say hello. 

Plus, London CLC has also been shortlisted for a Bett award!

  • Bett runs from 23-26 January at the Excel Centre, Royal Victoria Dock, London. Visit the BETT website for more information.





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Upcoming CPD

Summer primary school computing conference
Summer primary school computing conference

This event will build upon the Autumn computing conference by inviting subject leaders to reflect on their year in the role, sharing their successes and challenges. It will also introduce new ideas, tools and approaches through talks and practical activities led by members of the CLC team, with opportunities for attendees to share their own expertise and experience. Over the course of the conference activities will touch on the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science, digital literacy and information technology. We will also feature advice and examples illustrating the use of technology to support blended learning.

- 15:30
Computing subject leaders, Teachers...
Creative Arts, Digital and children – CLC meets More Than Robots online
Creative Arts, Digital and children - CLC meets More Than Robots online

Combining forces for the first time, the Connected Learning Centre and More Than Robots have created a session for teachers, youth organisations, researchers and policymakers interested in the digital provision of creative arts for primary aged pupils.


The Play Observatory - Prof. John Potter

“In their own words”: Westminster Abbey & CLC digital projects - Sian Shaw

Building (and maintaining) a city-wide primary arts curriculum to raise attainment - Kate Fellows

More to be added soon

This interactive and inclusive meet up will include inspiring examples of how technology can be used to support learning in music, visual art and drama in person and online at home drawing on our experiences as Tate Exchange associates and our partnership work with a range of cultural institutions.

This informal event is an opportunity to discuss real examples of what does/doesn’t work, meet colleagues from other sectors working on similar challenges and share useful research, news or updates

The morning will include case study presentations (details below) followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity for a rapid sharing round for launches, project updates or requests for help and a short break to avoid zoom brain drain.

- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Subject leaders, Teachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
- 14:25

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

The Garden Museum

The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.

Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.

  • How are they planted?
  • How do they spread?
  • What is inside them?

 The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.

These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.

There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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