• Wednesday , 23 January 2019

BETT Preview – BETT 2019: is the tide turning?

BETT is known to alternate between “hardware years” and “software years”, and, while 2019 is one those light on hardware front of class innovations. Both the market-leading touch screen specialists will be there, plus others, including BenQ and Vestel, will be on show. What won’t be there are the legions of new brands attracted by the rapid growth in education sales, as the market is satisfied, and the newcomers attracted to the burgeoning corporate market.

As Europe’s leading education event, the annual BETT show usually provides a comprehensive showcase of front of class interactive teaching technologies. But some familiar names are missing. There are a variety of reasons for turning away from the opportunity presented by BETT, but, in general, the feeling is that investing BETT will not offer an equivalent ROI to that of ISE with its greater appeal to the wider corporate market and education, in particular, higher education where the requirements are similar.

CTOUCH, for example, has announced that it will not be exhibiting at BETT 2019, and instead investing further into product improvements, a company rebrand and launching a series of events in 2019 where it can bring its award-winning technology to the customers directly.

Gregg Ringer, Head of UK Market Development, explains: “The BETT Show is still undoubtedly an important Education event for the UK market, and taking the decision to not exhibit in 2019 often felt like a risky one. However, the time we got to spend with our customers or prospective customers at the event was so brief, we often felt the investment didn’t really warrant the fleeting customer visits.”

“We want to build better relationships with our Education resellers and customers, which means getting the time for more meaningful conversations. We feel the best way to go about this is to launch our own events both independently, and in conjunction with our alliance partners. We have seen that a number of our Education customers simply cannot travel to BETT anymore due to the up-front cost, as well as the downtime. If they can’t come to us, we will go to them.”

He went on to hint “Although we are not exhibiting and don’t have a physical stand space next year, don’t be surprised to see us there in some other capacity though”.

CTOUCH recently launched two brand new products to supersede the successful Laser air + in the UK. The Laser Sky and Laser Nova have been designed specifically for the Education markets and are aimed at both basic users as well as Education establishments with more advanced requirements and technological ability.

The company has hinted at lots of exciting developments for 2019, including a rebrand and some impressive product advancements, most of them being revealed at ISE in the Netherlands in February.

Move to corporate

Other brands conspicuous by their absence include Avocor. The company still has a complete portfolio of interactive displays for education, created specifically with teachers and students in mind. Avocor says that its interactive displays create a collaborative learning environment that is easy to use and extremely cost-effective. Avocor has recently announced its intention to follow the Windows Collaboration Device route to bring its range in line with the requirements of business users.

Sharp has elected to follow a similar path with its version of the Windows Collaboration Device, which meets Microsoft WCD specifications, combines Sharp’s award-winning touch technology and sensors that can work with Microsoft Azure Digital Twins to monitor collaboration spaces. Other options for education buyers include touchscreen vendors active in a number of vertical markets, including education. BenQ, for example, has announced that it has enhanced its line of Interactive Flat Panels (IFPs) with Mainstream and Premium solutions for the education market. BenQ’s IFPs are optimised with a flexible user interface and classroom-ready solutions to support schools by bringing a truly healthy and collaborative learning experience into their classrooms. Both the Mainstream and Premium panels from BenQ boast a smart eye-care solution with an intuitive embedded motion sensor.

For a comfortable viewing experience, the IFP’s will automatically activate Flicker-Free, Anti-Glare and Low Blue Light features by detecting the movement of users close to the screen. However, the BenQ Premium panels are also equipped with a Germ-Resistant Screen which is powered by a multi-layer coating of a non-toxic enduring nano, ionic silver agent that kills germs accumulating on screen surfaces. The ionic silver’s antimicrobial feature remains effective even after thorough cleaning or long periods of use. The Premium panels also incorporate an air-quality sensor to help monitor CO2 concentration levels in classrooms and reminds teachers to adopt necessary mechanisms to keep CO2 at an ideal level. This thoughtful design ensures students can remain highly productive during class, whilst enjoying a much healthier learning environment.

The new IFP panels integrate the repositioned front-facing audio speakers with a screen-length curved pen tray. The two front-facing 16W speakers create better sound transmission and bring more audio-visual enjoyment to interactive learning. The curved pen tray offers a useful place to store the IFP stylus and other tools that help enrich presentations without interruption. Furthermore, the BenQ Premium panels support a personalised multi-account management system (AMS), which allows users to directly access their personal IFP desktop, folders and major cloud storage services. BenQ understands the value of ergonomics and has introduced a new launcher platform for the Premium panels with a spotlight/laser pointer, to help teachers build a dynamic learning environment with ease.

BenQ’s new range of IFPs also feature InstaQShare software, which is designed for seamless wireless presentation and collaboration. It allows for smooth streaming of both visual and audio files, including HD quality video, plus users can mirror content from mobile devices and invite up to 16 participants. The range also supports multi-touch capability up to 20 points, allowing more students to participate in discussion and engage in activities. The panels are also equipped with EZWrite annotation software, which is designed to illustrate ideas, record notes and brainstorming. It also comes with dual pens that allow users to write or draw in different colours simultaneously, plus intelligent handwriting recognition features.

BenQ’s latest premium line of Interactive Flat Panels will be available from Q1 2019.

Specialists

For the majority of visitors to BETT 2019, the Clevertouch and Promethean booths that will provide two of the focal points in the show. In 2019, Clevertouch will celebrate its tenth anniversary. As the first company to introduce a touchscreen at BETT, Clevertouch has consistently led the education market and continues to serve the sector. Promethean, also a pioneer of interactivity, was a little slow in migrating its software and content offerings to the IFP platform, a recent wave of innovation an investment from Net Dragon has seen the company making great strides in technology and innovative market development.

SMART Technologies’ recent announcements have centered on enhancements to SMART Learning Suite Online software including a new ‘Workspace’ activity. This new activity is designed to enable whole-class or small group collaboration by leveraging student devices and providing a shared digital space where multiple students work together. Workspace activities are an integrated part of a lesson, so teachers don’t lose time transitioning between devices, applications, and lessons.

The company has introduced SMART Remote Management, a cloud-based solution that allows central management of all student and teacher devices (iOS, Android, Chrome OS and Windows) and SMART Board interactive displays. SMART Remote Management provides education and business administrators alike with the tools necessary to manage, maintain, control and support an entire fleet of devices across their organization from any remote location helping to save time and resources.

In tandem with Workspace activities and Remote Management, SMART is releasing the SMART Board 7000 and 6000 series interactive displays integrated with iQ, Intel ® Compute Card and Windows 10 Pro. Offering a completely new approach to computing and a hassle-free service model that is a more cost effective solution than traditional PCs, users can update the Compute Card to extend the device’s capabilities, allowing users greater flexibility in how they collaborate, interact with content and share information.

BETT 2019 is heavily slanted in favour of future technologies, gamification and alternative realities but with no firm idea of whether we are close to using current resources to the fullest extent – buy a suspicion that we are probably not.

BETT will look at futures technologies and new realities.

Last year, BETT attracted 34,000 visitors.

BETT – hardware and software years alternate

BETT’s reasons to attend

Last year, BETT attracted more than 103 new edtech start-ups and 34,000 attendees from the global education community. This year’s event runs from the 23-26 January 2019, once again at ExCeL London. While the 2019 is by no means comprehensive in terms of current interactive technologies, there will be an inspirational selection of future education technologies. Argex will be sharing how kids can code using a DIY, easy-to-program smartwatch kit for STEM education, and BodyMind will be demonstrating education solutions for therapeutic and behavioral problems. Newton International are partnering with Boeing to bring innovative 21st Century skills and will demonstrate a mobile classroom complete with flight simulators. Immersive VR Education will share how educators can create and share their own content.

2Simple, who’ve been creating powerful primary edtech for 20 years, are also launching a new version of their award-winning observation capture app, used for gathering observations on the go. Their inventive product improves the quality and consistency of formative assessment, while also saving educators hours of record keeping time. They’ll also be sharing an exciting new venture into wellbeing.

Edtech startup Blutick are changing the way students learn Maths online. Their unique line-by-line feedback system assesses learners’ working as they solve problems, giving them intelligent and constructive feedback in real time enabling students to progress their learning, rather than simply practice what they know.

DRONEdays will also be making their debut at Bett 2019, sharing how they help take the stress out of planning and delivering coding elements of the curriculum to students – by providing the resources and expertise to ensure a successful, engaging and fun experience for every pupil.

Edutapp who are revolutionising staff training, allowing training to happen any time, anywhere and on any device. Also discover a cost effective, flexible way of delivering and tracking CPD for teaching assistants.

Brainbox Games will be launching their new flagship app Magic Spell, which uses a dyslexia-friendly font and can be personalised to meet the needs of all students. Their product also links home with the classroom; supporting parental understanding of school expectations and pupil achievements. Come and discover how their engaging gameplay and storylines make spelling fun!

Bett 2019 has been built around the real needs of the education community, focusing on key themes from BETT’s annual research.

This year, the show’s organisers are doing even more to provide the best return on time for every visitor to the show. By extending the opening hours with ‘BETT Lates’, facilitating more networking opportunities and adding new functionality to the Official Show App. Show features include:

Bett Futures
Bett Futures is the place to celebrate brave and creative thinking, providing a single space to see what’s coming next in edtech, it offers an opportunity to help shape the proposition for technology brands working to meet the needs of practitioners and learners.

A hotspot, attracting ‘best in class’ start ups from around the world, it’s one of the most visited areas on the show floor.

The Futures area provides a space to explore new innovations in an open and informal setting along with an opportunity to get hands-on with new designs and innovations.

Seminar sessions related to Bett Futures

Here’s a taster of the seminar sessions and speakers that will be taking to the stage at Bett 2019. Be inspired and take plenty of practical advice with you back to the classroom and lecture theatre. There’s plenty more to come so watch this space…

Bett theatres and zones

We continue to provide theatres and zones dedicated to specific sectors, challenges and topics. As well as our returning greats, such as The Bett Arena and Bett Futures, we have fresh new ideas such as the SEN and Neurodiversity sensory space.

The Bett Arena
The main stage, the Bett Arena, is known for its inspirational content. Each year hosting world renowned education influencers and experts to give a captivated audience pioneering strategies and best practice to implement today.

Schools Theatre
The Schools Theatre is the place to be for insights in to good school strategy for leaders and tangible takeaways for teachers and ICT staff. It holds a research designed programme to meet the needs of educators at every level.

Post 16 Theatre
The Post 16 Theatre provides a dedicated space to learn about the issues affecting the transition into Tertiary Education with a research designed programme to meet the needs of Post-16 and HE educators.

 

Bett Zones

Solutions Den
The Solutions Den provides an opportunity to hear from fellow practitioners talking about and showcasing solutions that work. Sessions are short and practical, giving tangible takeaways for educators and ICT professionals at every level.

Streaming Zone
Away from the theatres, has created a listening experience where headphones can be worn and speaker sessions can be viewed on a wide screen. This area carries the full programme of premium sessions so you can engage with chosen content without distraction.

SEN & Neurodiversity
BETT as launched a new area dedicated to SEN and neurodiversity where companies will be showcasing the latest advancements and resources to support SEN professionals at all levels. Visitors will be able to browse supplier solutions and visit the Sensory Room.

 

Case study: why one of the UK’s best Schools chose Casio’s lamp-free projectors?

While much of the interest in front of class technology is focused on IFPs, the introduction of solid state projectors had given them a mew lease of life.

Wallington-based Wilson’s School has introduced a range of Casio’s lamp-free projectors to its classrooms, transforming the learning experience for its 1,200 students with state-of-the-art interactive capabilities and enhanced lesson content.

As one of the country’s most successful schools, with a firm focus on academic achievement, it was of paramount importance that the projection technology complemented the high standards of teaching.  Casio’s projector range was a natural choice due to its consistently high levels of image brightness and clarity over the projector’s impressive 20,000 hour lifetime.

Marek Polniaszek, IT Manager at the school explains:

“After being introduced to Casio’s projectors at BETT and being impressed with the high-quality resolution and lamp-free technology, we bought some of their Green Slim Series to trial and were really pleased with the results.  They’re the perfect replacements for our traditional lamp-based projectors and we don’t have to worry about additional costs for replacement bulbs with Casio or any maintenance issues. With a good range of throw lengths, there was no need to move mounting brackets.”

Budgets are a serious consideration throughout the school, which is why Casio was the ideal choice for teaching needs of the staff.  The low Total Cost of Ownership means there are no parts to replace over the projectors’ impressive 5-year warranty and energy consumption is kept to a minimum due to the Laser and LED hybrid light source.  The simple on/off function means that there’s no need to allow the projector to cool down before turning the projector off at the switch, something that was causing problems with previous lamp based projectors as this was causing bulbs to blow.

This was an issue Marek encountered on a regular basis across the classrooms:

“We have just over 1,200 students at the school and approximately 78 classrooms; there are a large number of projectors to consider.  Teachers don’t want to waste time waiting for them to start and as lamp-free technology doesn’t involve any heating up of bulbs, they can get going with lesson content from just 5 seconds after turning the projector on.  There’s also no dimming over time with the Laser and LED light source.”

The school has 72 Casio lamp-free projectors in total, including the Core Series, Green Slim Series and Ultra Short Throw Series.  Marek’s IT team adopts a practical and economical solution to installing projectors by modifying brackets in-house.  Connected to interactive whiteboards, the school uses them to display a diversity of content including: slow motion content, thermal imaging and microscope feeds in science, which enhances the learning and development process for students.

Projection is used for self-evaluation, for instance during cadet training instructors show the boys how they’re marching so that they can see what they’re doing wrong.  In a similar way sports technique can be shown and analysed. This is not only a powerful technique in terms of development and understanding for the students, it’s an innovative way of using the technology to improve the quality of teaching.

The reception area is home to one of Casio’s Ultra Short Throw projectors and displays content directly onto the wall to inform parents and students about upcoming activities.  The reliability factor is hugely important to Marek, as it means teaching time is not lost and that he and his team aren’t spending time repairing the technology:

“The fact that we can fit and forget the projectors is a huge plus.  As is the lack of filters, as it means we don’t have to spend any time cleaning them.”  All the units are encased in a dust-resistant structure which is ingenious.  “We’re fairly busy at the school as it is, so the less time spent maintaining technology the better!”

Having worked at the school for 14 years, Marek stresses the quality of teaching is the number one priority and technology reliability that doesn’t cost the earth, essential.  Casio ticks all of the boxes.

He says; “We’ll continue to replace our lamp-based projectors with Casio because they never let us down.  At a school as busy as ours, we can’t afford for things not to work and reliable technology at an affordable price point is exactly what Casio delivers.”

ExCeL London
Royal Victoria Dock
1 Western Gateway
London
E16 1XL
United Kingdom.

Wed 23rd January, 10:00 – 18:00

Thu 24th January, 10:00 – 18:00

Fri 25th January, 10:00 – 18:00

Sat 26th January, 10:00 – 15:00

 

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