Saturday, 17 January 2009

Bett 2009 Round up and Teachmeet 09

The day after Bett and its time to collect some thoughts and point you in the direction of what was cool and inspiring.

First up the Smart Table - this seemed like a really cool bit of technology. It was multi touch and the activity bank included works on the idea of collaboration and cooperation. It is also possible to make your own activities using templates. I think we'll be seeing more on this over the coming year, but at the moment I don't see many schools shelling out around £5000 for this to go into KS1 classrooms.

From Bett09

Microsoft Surface is the direct competition to the Smart Table and RM had one on display. The basic idea is the same a multi touch desk surface, the touch sensitivity was basically the same. The difference is with the OS, it has some cool applications like mapping, and there are some educational application being developed now with RM. It can recognise cards and from a dot 'fingerprint' it tells the table what to do. We where making a pizza and if we put the cheese card down cheese appeared to place, and if we put the peppers card down peppers appeared. It was nice and smooth, but the educational push just wasn't there for me compared to the Smart Table, again we'll see more of this over the coming year, but at around £7000-8000 its the most expensive. Have a look at this video of the 'ideal' possibilities.

Next Robots - one of my guilty pleasures and the only wow moment I had this Bett.

RM had on there Stand the Mech RC which is a programmable robot. Now I've been doing a lot of work with Robots in school and this one blew me away. Firstly it was a great range of movement that allows for great animation and agility. Secondly the software to program it is so easy to use, its almost more like animation that programing. I ordered one I was so impressed - £380.

From Bett09

From Bett09

Check out these links for a bit more info.

I went along to Q4Technologies to check out there new ranges. This year they have added Femispaien - a female robot, and Wrex the Dawg - a dog. Both come with software. They look and feel has changed so the software is much more appealing. Go-Robo Stuido which controls all the WowWee robots has also undergone a face lift. Check out this video for some of the work that has been done with the Femisapiens.

From Bett09

Finally I was also checking out some of the newer netbooks trying to explore the best for children and for teachers.

3 stood out, the Samsung NC10, the Toshiba NB100 and the Fizzbook Spin. The first two for teachers and the Fizzbook for pupils. Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be able to tell you more.

From Bett09

From Bett09

Overall a Bett was good show, but not as many wow moments as I had last year.


As always a great social and networking event - many people spoke.
The high points for me where:
Tom Barret - Who used Twitter and Google Earth in a lesson He asked his Twitter group to give his class clues so that they could find them in the world. The children became explorers and had to give proof back to the Twitters that they had found them in Google Earth.

Someone showed Photoshop Tennis. The teacher posts a picture in a forum on a topic - his example was lust, the children had to photoshop the picture and take it in different but linked directions. The images took on a unique story and narrative of it own. This was a secondary example, but is this possible in primary?

There where a a number of good links given as well so check the below out. - An Interactive poster maker. - children being teachers using screencast telling us about maths concepts.
Zoomit - a useful screen zooming tool. - create and change comics
Flickr Related Tags Browser

Finally of course Teachmeet East London 2 was also launched. Keep your eyes on the Teachmeet site for details.

Three wise men!

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