Bett 2018: Changing the face of education

Bett 2018: Changing the face of education

The role that education plays in helping students prepare for the future is a key theme for Bett 2018. The event aims to give teachers the inspiration and the practical skills to help them address the challenges of preparing students for an unpredictable future

The world we live in now is different to that of twenty, ten or even five years ago. The way we obtain and share information has totally transformed, and a whole generation of kids are now accustomed to having incredible computing power at their fingertips.

This rate of change is not set to slow down at any point; in fact, many of the children in school today are expected to go on to jobs that don’t even exist yet. So how do we get them ready?

Gathering together to discuss this is a good place to start. Teaching, like planning for the future, should not be done in isolation. Just as jobs will demand more collaborative skills, education will become more collaborative.

The community of educators that has developed around Bett is testament to the fact that teachers, business managers and school leaders have long recognised the need to come together, discuss and discover best practices and the best products.


The role that education plays in helping students prepare for the future is a key theme for Bett 2018. The event aims to give teachers the inspiration and the practical skills to help them address the challenges of preparing students for an unpredictable future.

The community that has been built around Bett over the years helps to bring technology and its role in the classroom to life. The aim for 2018 is to share these stories so that teachers have practical tools and insight to help transform education.

Bett 2018 will be showcasing hundreds of suppliers, bringing together the most innovative, practical and impactful products. From game-changing innovations like artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR / VR) and tech-powered adaptive learning solutions, to content management systems and the latest hardware, the show’s exhibitors run the gamut of what the market has to offer.

Joining the established suppliers and the tried and tested resources, Bett Futures brings emerging edtech start-up companies together, celebrating brave thinking, innovative pedagogy and learning solutions that will improve the lives of students everywhere.


The new look content programme at Bett 2018 comes after extensive consultation and research with visitors and members of the education community and a call for a content model. This has resulted in a streamline of content across the event, and a focus on practitioner led talks and learning.

The Bett Arena will host editorially led content with inspirational talks, big stories and developments across technology from pupils, practitioners, brands and influencers, and will feature the highest number of teachers, head teachers and vice‑chancellors speaking on the stage ever.

One session will focus on the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).Increased rights for individuals, increased responsibilities for data processors and massively increased penalties mean we all have to take it seriously. For education, this is an increased burden to comply with new rules, such as privacy notices; appointing a DPO; data audits; data protection impact assessments; and the issue of consent.

Hosted by LEGO® Education and the LEGO® Foundation, there will also be a session on learning through play. With the focus on test scores, the constant assessment and the administration that goes alongside teaching almost prevents teachers from nurturing the creativity and other 21st century skills that are essential to adult life.

This seminar by Halima Begum considers the role of play in development and learning, how it nurtures a breadth of skills and improves achievements in traditional outcomes.

The Bett Arena will also hold a seminar on transforming education for today’s student, which will be lead by FutureLearn & Coventry University. The international education sector is currently going through significant change driven by market and political conditions. Student expectations are also changing as digital technology advances.

The role of Edtech has never been more important with its potential to help universities modernise, attract international students and deliver value for money. The educational institutions that will thrive will be those who work out how to meet diverse student needs and provide international access to high-quality course materials.

FutureLearn will present the latest market trends and Coventry University will discuss plans to deliver 50 online degrees over the next five years with FutureLearn.


Following the official opening of Bett by Justine Greening, Bett will launch its new annual temperature check for innovation in education; the Bett Innovation Index. The project follows a large-scale survey conducted in autumn 2017 that explored global approaches to innovation in education, with the intended result being better understanding of the state of them, from awareness through to adoption.

The results will be presented for the first time to outline the culture of innovation that develops in institutions who engage with new approaches to technology. Other sessions at the show will take a look at emerging pedagogy, global and local education movements, practical considerations and, of course, inspiring stories.


New this year are two sponsored content stages – the Schools Theatre and Post 16 Theatre, both of which will feature a mixture of brands presenting practitioner-led sessions. The final stage, called the Solutions Den, will be an informal area where brands can present solutions to common school problems and discuss how it might work at their school.

One session discussed in the Schools Theatre is using computational thinking to tackle the computing curriculum. Shahneila Saeed, director at Digital Schoolhouse and Tony Gilbert from New College will explain how the Digital Schoolhouse Programme inspires teachers and pupils to tackle common misconceptions within the UK Computing Curriculum.

Combining the passion and experience of educators to deliver computing concepts and computational thinking enables students to break problems into manageable parts, patterns and trends. By leveraging innovation and expertise through collaboration with academia and industry, Tony will demonstrate cross-curricular learning at all levels of teaching.

He’ll show unplugged style activities, including teaching computing through dance and networking; jigsaw puzzles, word games and role play.


The Schools Theatre will also host a session on using 3D-printing in classrooms. Michael Miller an ambassador of Dremel 3D, is going to share how he engages his students by bringing 3D printing into his classroom. Having a physical object linked to design thinking activities helps bring context to computer science and therefore encourage higher-level skills, while applying STEM concepts.

In doing so this has allowed him to involve more girls with robotics and STEM, which has given students an insight into different career paths. Students who see the results of their equations and work in 3D physical form tend to take a much more serious but fun view of STEM fields.

The Post 16 Theatre will host a session on how Ballyclare High school are balancing budgets and innovation using VR, 360-degree cameras, and a combination of online and offline activities.

With an emphasis on kinaesthetic and project-based learning, students are using tech to design their own virtual field trips, build geographic and scientific models, and use social media to share and view their work. They’re creating flip books with animation tools to tell the story of their learning outcomes.

This approach combines tech with hands-on learning that’s embedded across the curriculum resulting in fully immersed students. This session provides new ideas on how to implement innovative approaches and tools for project-based learning.


In addition to the content, Bett’s popular feature areas are joined by a new service to make collaboration and networking with peers and companies easier.

Bett’s new networking tool, Connect@Bett, helps visitors make the most of their time over the four days of the event, helping them search for appropriate connections across the events entire audience, set up meetings and use the dedicated Connect@Bett lounge for meetings or a quiet corner for a coffee.

Following its success in 2016 and 2017, the STEAM Village (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) will return again to play host to a number of organisations supporting learning in the STEAM subjects.

The Bett STEAM Village is an interactive space for teachers and students to
learn through exploration and play.

It’s a place for visitors to try out STEAM solutions and products while considering how they can be assimilated into the classroom to enhance education. Experts will be on hand to guide visitors through key STEAM topics, teaching methods, and new and emerging technologies.


Bett 2018’s worldwide parter is Microsoft. The firm’s mission in the education sector is to empower every student to achieve more. It has been a major player in this market for many years and its focus is on helping students and teachers to gain the most from the technology they often already have in schools, thereby improving student outcomes.

Microsoft has very high awareness generally, but it regularly launches new products and initiatives to support teachers and students. Its challenge is to continually demonstrate how its products make a difference in UK classrooms and compete with many new players in this fast-moving market.

“For people who are passionate about education, there is no other experience like Bett. January is the Microsoft Education team’s favourite time of the year as we meet with a wide range of the 35,000 educators and leaders who come to London to connect, engage and be inspired by the latest developments in education technology, ideas and pedagogy. Microsoft is proud to be the worldwide partner of Bett and this year we are thrilled to have more than 40 engaging presentations and many more immersive experiences available for educators to enjoy throughout the show. We can’t wait for you all to join us for an incredible four days.” said Ian Fordham, director of education, Microsoft UK.

Bett 2018 will run over four days, from 24 to 27 January 2018 at ExCeL, London.

Further Information: