The exciting futures of edtech

Nina Iles

Nina Iles is head of edtech at British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA). She has devoted the past decade of her life to the education sector, and has a passion for people, meaningful comms and, of course, edtech. Prior to working with BESA, Nina spent over eight years at TES Global. 

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Image credit: British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) // Image credit: British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) //

With the holiday season done and dusted, our attention for the most part turns to diary planning for the year ahead. For those working in the education sector, particularly those involved with, or interested in educational technology, the Bett Show will perhaps be the highlight of the first month of the year.

Taking place at ExCel London from 24th-27th January, Bett is certainly a firm fixture in the BESA events calendar. Its mission: to bring together people, ideas, practices and technologies so that educators and learners can fulfil their potential.

Bett Futures, an interactive space to experience the latest edtech

Bett Futures is always heaving with people keen to look at, play with, write about and sometimes invest in the products on show. The curiosity is palpable, and I love being among it. If you’re a school leader, a teacher, “You can see what’s in development and how it works.”or the person in charge of your school’s ICT budget, the Bett Show and its Futures area affords you the opportunity to come and find out exactly what’s currently available on the market. You can see what’s in development, how it works and how you can use it in your quest to drive up outcomes for your students and school. Please do it (register here).

Edtech is advancing at an incredible rate. At the heart of it are people who are determined to help teachers free up their time to spend less of it on marking and more of it teaching exciting, engaging lessons. This way, educators can spend more time helping those children who don’t quite get it first time round, and assist them in finding their learning feet.

Educators and edtech suppliers face many challenges when it comes to sourcing and using edtech in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning experiences. Many working in the edtech space - including BESA, Innovate My School and Rocket Fund - are committed to getting the message out to government, schools, teachers, students and parents that there is a wealth of affordable, remarkable technological solutions available right now that can help teachers in their efforts to plan, deliver and assess their students learning.

EDUCATE project at Bett Futures

BESA is proud to be a delivery partner to the UCL-led EDUCATE research project. At a time of fast-moving advances in science and technology, this initiative aims to harness the concepts and ideas of individuals and SMEs, underpinned by rigorous academic research and evidence, who are working to enhance teaching and learning in the UK’s education system.

EDUCATE, which will officially launch at this year’s BETT Show, is a groundbreaking partnership of entrepreneurs, researchers and educators, led by UCL’s Institute of Education and part-funded by the ERDF. Its aim is to develop and promote the use of technology in education by making the best educational research available and accessible to innovators developing their ideas.

Among these innovators, many work in schools as heads and teachers, and EDUCATE is seeking to engage with them. Teachers are being invited to apply to the scheme with their ideas and concepts to find out how these ideas can be developed and turned into commercially viable products and services.

EDUCATE and its associates will be exhibiting in the Bett Futures at HUB1. BESA, meanwhile, will be based on stand B134 - we’ll be very happy to tell you more about who we are and what we do, as well as all the great companies and people we represent. We look forward to seeing you there!

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