Bett 2023: The Highlights

After an epic 3-day show, our good friend Mark Anderson AKA @ICTEvangelist gives us a recap of some of the highlights from Bett 2023.

By Mark Anderson

Wow. That’s all I can say. Wow. What a fantastic few days of connecting, reconnecting, sharing and meeting and learning educators from around the world at what was Bett 2023. Dotted around the arena at Bett there were lots of neon signs saying ‘Bett-er than ever’.

I asked the question with a selfie on setup day, “Will it be #BetterThanEver at #Bett2023?” and it sure was. 

BettLag aside (the phenomenon you experience post-Bett similar to jetlag) there were so many highlights to take away from the event. 

From a now>press>play perspective, co-founder Oscar Wood’s participation in the Global Equality Collective panel was a great experience to participate in, joined on the stage by luminaries such as Caroline Keep, Becki Bawler and GEC collective co-founder, Nicole Ponsford to name a few.

The now>press>play team were delighted to welcome LEO Academies to their stand where children participated in a variety of immersive Experiences and they shared it was a highlight of their visit to the show.

I loved visiting the superb LGfL stand which was a hive of activity throughout the event – check out the video on the link below of their Tanzii TV Takeover, representing the high energy levels taking place on their stand every day:

I also loved the innovative stand of New Zealand-based edtech company, Kami, which has a great, accessible annotation tool for use in the classroom, currently free for schools in the UK/Europe for the rest of the academic year.

Another highlight for the now>press>play team was the panel discussion about Digital Wellbeing featuring Nicola Harvey, Jez Belas (YouHQ), Clare Roberts and Aaron John (Tranquiliti) – it’s great to see wellbeing so high on the agenda at an event like Bett and great to see that technology entrepreneurs are exploring the ways in which technology can help improve all-round mindfulness and wellbeing in education.

Of course, we were busy with lots of other fantastic activities. One of my personal highlights was the session I ran in the Teaching and Learning theatre where I explored immersive audio and the ways in which it can support, enhance and improve learning opportunities in the Primary Classroom. Watch the full talk below!

I was delighted to be joined on stage by the brilliant Lady Kirsty Grundy, a colleague from Kirsty’s school, Jade Parker and the inimitable Martin Bailey. Lots of great advice and insights were shared and one thing I’m particularly proud of from the session, not just that it was so well attended, was the CPD resource that we were able to share with delegates for them to use during CPD sessions in their schools on the topic too. Grab your copy here!

Another highlight of Bett was the Bett Awards where now>press>play was shortlisted for an award. It was great to have the opportunity to be there both supporting now>press>play and representing NetSupport who were also up as finalists for two awards!

The interactions between now>press>play and NetSupport are long-standing and go to show how collaborative the two companies are in their approaches to working in the education space.

I was delighted to interview Lady Kirsty, Jade and Martin in an episode of Insights with NetSupport on the NetSupport stand and our Community Engagement lead Kat Cauchi had a great chat with now>press>play co-founder Alice Lacey and our COO Tilly Brooke sharing on Insights with NetSupport.

Shifting away from our activities, another highlight of the event was the various engagements that Michael Rosen took part in across Bett. His main stage session was full to the rafters and the queue to meet Michael was just phenomenal. In his interview with Russell Prue on NetSupport radio (listen here), Rosen shared lots of nuggets about reading and spent time championing the work of other authors such as Julia Donaldson saying that she is “a national treasure”. 

Rosen engaged in other fantastic events at Bett 2023 too, engaging with young people in the ever-popular #KidsJudgeBett competition alongside long-time friends of now>press>play, Katy Potts and BESA’s Dave Smith.

So… was it Bett-er than ever? Well, I think I have to say it was a resounding YES. With more than 60,000 steps taken across the three days and 200+ selfies taken, meeting far more amazing people than the photos show.

Post-pandemic Bett is back and back with a veritable smorgasbord of improved opportunities to connect, share, learn and engage with educators from around the globe! The organisers should be rightly proud that they have yet again shown both how to do a huge scale exhibition which provides for both vendors and educators and just why Bett is the largest edtech event in the world. 

Roll on January – just 9 months away, when we get to do it all over again. 

Will it be Bett-er than ever again – I sure as heck hope so and can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2024!

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