As many may know, I am a keen learner; therefore, I thought it was vital for me to attend this year’s Bett show on 24th and 25th January, in London. For me, there were several highlights. Firstly, being in a room full of educators, connecting with fellow teachers, and lecturers sharing tips of the trade. Then secondary, learning new skills that I could bring back to my class, share with my colleagues, benefiting our student’s education, by improving engagement levels. Although I teach at a university level, I engaged with several projects aimed at primary and secondary schools, such as Cornerstone Education. As sometimes, there is potential to adapt different curriculum tools into higher education. The online platform, they were discussing focused on the schools, designing, and delivering the curriculum that Ofsted expects. As one of my previous roles, was reviewing Ofsted reports, this did pique my interest.
I attended the Your Grey Matters stall, which focused on available training for schools for PSE. They offer several downloadable courses that focus on public mental health, self-harm, and suicide. It is vital teachers understand the possible signs of these as well as the support staff. Therefore, I highly recommend these training platforms.
The SEND Trail was where I spend the most amount of time, as I wanted to review the different gadgets that could benefit myself and my SEND students. One of the items which I reviewed was the scanning pens. I purchased something similar a few years ago, as I often noticed when I would read something and type it, I would miss out keywords. Therefore, I looked into something that could directly copy into my Word document. This item has saved me a vast amount of time over the years, and I have felt it reduces the jumping of the words on the pages. Therefore, making it clearer to read.
While walking around the SEND trail, I was informed of two upcoming dyslexia events. These included the Dyslexia Show, happening on the 20th – 21st March 2020. The event is a free exhibit that is focused on raising awareness and also providing best practice to educators. This event will provide further information on how to support someone with dyslexia and where to locate continuing professional development (CPD) for teaching professionals. Another event I was informed about was Manchester’s 1st International Dyslexia Conference, which connects international professionals and dyslexia experts, sharing ideas and suggestions on four key areas. These include education, physical/mental health, human resources/employment, and education/work/home life. This event is taking place in July 2020. Following the discussion, I feel these are important events to boost awareness and learn new skills, which could benefit both my approach to mine and my students learning.
For 2020, Bett introduced six new themes: well-being, empowering teaching and learning, innovation, inclusion, social mobility and SEND, future tech, and trends, and skills. All of these themes are key to the success of my students. Therefore, I explored all of these while I attended the conference. Education is evolving, with technological advances improving student engagement, and students needing to be equipped with the understanding of technology, as it blended into so many roles nowadays. Therefore, in further and higher education, the adaption of new programs, for instance, for students studying web-development additional access to the latest Magento such as Magento Commerce 2.3.4, could give them the edge.
The theme empowerment I felt reflected upon encouraging the student to engage in practical work. Thus, encouraged me to develop a list of potential guests who could attend my classes and speak to my students on a practical level. As well as consider topics such as sustainable development goals, and how this will be achieved. As a healthcare lecturer, the discussion regardless the sustainable development goals occur frequently.
Another tool that I felt was quite unusual was the Planet eStream, which allows additional tools of communication for the tutor and student. It can capture lessons by live streaming and store these for the students to access at a later date. As a student, it often easy to miss critical elements of a lesson. Therefore, systems such as these capturing data and material could enhance the students understanding of a topic as they will be able to refer back to the lesson and re-play it.
The safety and wellbeing of children are vital, and in 2018 the Government released new guidance: Keeping Children Safe in Education. Although this refers to children, several areas could be reflected in further or higher education settings. At the Betts event, I come across My Concern, who have developed a detailed summary of changes, which was provided to me. One of the topics which stood out to me was early help and establishing when additional support.
I walked away with a number of leaflets and additional tools that could be developed in my classes. I am looking forward to attending next years, re-connect with fellow educators, who I have met.