The annual British Educational Training and Technology Show London Excel Centre Another interesting and informative trip to Bett this year – Mandy Jack and Suzie Pugh share their experiences.
We arrived at the show on Wednesday 24th with time to orient ourselves a little before our first seminar. The biggest impact for us was the Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) stands and seminars. Dubbed as immersive learning solutions, designed to foster collaboration and promote inclusive learning experiences, they seemed to tick all the right boxes.
Eric Klopfer from MIT, Professor studying educational technology, games, simulations, mobile devices, computing and teacher education, presented a very interesting comparison of AR and VR.
Affordances of Mixed Reality – Eric Klopfer, MIT
A Virtual Reality Experience
The opportunity to explore the latest Virtual Reality headsets was a highlight. Being fully immersed into a blood stream and interacting with cells, whilst moving through the flow, was fascinating. So too was the experience of exploring an African plain. As we turned our heads (holding onto a table to steady ourselves) we were completely submerged into the new reality and able to draw closely to a herd of elephants. We agreed later that it was the most surreal experience we’d ever had. The scope for utilising VR in HE is wide, allowing students to access material, artefacts and experiences that they would otherwise be excluded from.
We were drawn to a seminar boasting a pioneering partnership between the grassroots organization #WomenEd and Microsoft Education to connect female leaders in education and help tackle the gender equality gap in edtech. With the gender gap in STEM & computing increasing and the importance of technology to bridge those inequalities, #WomenEd & Microsoft have collaborated to create a community of leaders across the UK who connect together through events, networking, and a drive to empower every person to achieve more.
The speakers were; Barbara Holzapfel, General Manager from Microsoft Education, Kirsty Tonks, Principal Designate at Shireland Technology Primary School and Vivienne Porritt, Co-Founders, and National Leader – Women Ed. So there was an interesting mix making sure that it wasn’t all about the Tech.
Flipped Learning (FL) was another key focus for us as it is something that we at SALT are sharing with our colleagues. Natasha Kaplinsky hosted an interesting seminar looking at the concept of FL across the education sectors.
Students were adamant that the technology supported and expanded opportunities for their learning and certainly didn’t replace other ways of learning.
Here is the Sotrify if you would like to see all the best bits as far as we were concerned!