Wednesday, January 14, 2009

BETT Educational Technology Show, London

BETT is an annual Education Technology show in Olympia, London. It is tagged as the world’s largest educational technology event. I have atteded it over the last ten years as part of my job. As the years went by it became more and more dispiriting as the gap between the use of technology in UK schools and in Ireland widened. I visited BETT today probably for the last time and wondered again at the range of products, hardware and software, available for schools, teachers and pupils. It almost made me wish I was a young teacher again.

The great excitement of the launch of IT2000 in Ireland, the establishment of NCTE and the appointment of ICT Advisors to primary and post-primary schools in Ireland slowly died as it became apparent that there was no long term plan on the part of government to fund ICT use and development in our schools. This was not done during the plentiful years of the Celtic Tiger and it leaves schools ICT in Ireland in a very poor state at the moment. The position of ICT Advisor has been abolished and schools have been left with very little support.

There is some excellent work being done by teachers and schools convinced of the value of ICT. The Computer Education Society of Ireland (CESI) keeps the flag flying. It will hold its Annual Conference next month. Well worth a visit by anyone interested in computers in schools.

Secondhand bookshops and art galleries beckon.


Cormac said...

As an ICT Teacher myself, what's the latest trend or gadget from today's BETT show?

Michael Farry said...

Whiteboards are still to the fore with some new developments including the smart table. VLEs for schools and websites providing online curriculum support on subscription are still important.