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Bett 2017: The EdTech News From Day One

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

A selection of the news announcements we’ve heard from the UK’s biggest education technology expo

The first day of education expo Bett 2017 has come to a close, with a raft of news announcements supplementing the excitement that comes with getting to spend a working day playing with toys.

The show started with a keynote speech from Essa Academy’s director of development Abdul Chohan about how it has been using Apple technology to transform its teaching and has been followed by a day of robots, massive touchscreen displays and virtual reality classrooms.

Before we come back and do it all again tomorrow, here are a few of the news announcements we’ve heard throughout the day.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3

Raspberry Pi mag

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is of course a big player in the education technology sector, with the mini computers experiencing something of a revolution since their launch.

The organisation already runs a range of initiatives designed to develop students’ digital skills, such as Code Club and Astro Pi, but it is now targeting teachers and educators with the launch of a free magazine called ‘Hello World’.

The magazine focuses on “computing and digital making” with the goal being to provide a resource that will help educators connect, share great practice and learn from each other.

As well as print form, the magazine will be available as a downloadable PDF and and will include “features on the most interesting developments and best practices from around the world”.

Smoothwall smart monitoring

Web filter provider Smoothwall has launched a monitoring platform called Visigo to bolster children’s safety online in schools.

The software intelligently monitors keystroke activity on school or college-owned devices, both online and offline, providing visibility of conversations or content being created by students across the web.

Visigo builds a profiles of its users by monitoring the activity and taking into consideration factors such as age and gender, allowing accurate moderation between a one-off incident or a chain of events.

With the rise of digital use in our classrooms, it is only logical for schools to make the appropriate steps to ensure they have children’s safety as a top priority,” said Claire Stead, online safety ambassador at Smoothwall.

“Schools must have a proactive, technical way of safeguarding their pupils and Visigo will provide a comprehensive picture on any suspicious activity undertaken on the device whether on premise or offsite.”

SMART

SMART connects students

SMART technologies launched new products and software designed to foster collaboration between students and use technology to create fun and engaging lessons.

As well as three new interactive, touchscreen displays, the launch includes a subscription-based software platform called SMART Learning Suite software, with interactive lesson delivery, game-based activities, formative assessments, and collaborative and online workspaces.

“Collaborative learning is important in today’s digital classroom. It teaches students important life skills such as collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. It helps students discover and develop their unique potential,” said Warren Barkley, chief technology officer at SMART Technologies.

“Our new range of SMART solutions and software are designed to deliver a more immersive learning experience for the whole class, a small group and individual teaching environments.”

Quiz: What do you know about the Raspberry Pi?