The Bett Show — what were the main takeaways from the event?

The annual Bett Show shows the world of education what is coming over the course of the next year. It is one of the most exciting events for forward-thinking educators and those within the tech industry. With the show wrapped up for another year, what were the biggest innovations to come out of the 2020 event?

Revolutionising marking work

Any educator will tell you that marking work is the bane of their existence. It takes up a large portion of time that could be spent on more important areas. Turnitin has created something that should give educators significant help in this area. After developing Gradescope over the last year, Turnitin has now partnered with Microsoft.

This partnership will see Gradescope become available to educators through the Microsoft app store. The software was on show over the course of the event this year and demonstrated just how much time could be saved by educators. Teachers from Barnsley College who have been trialling the software were on hand at Bett to show just what can be achieved by using it.

What was most striking about the showcase was that it not only offered to make the lives of educators easier, but it also showed that engagement from students had increased. Not only will teachers have more time to unwind from the pressures of the job, but thanks to Gradescope, students will also be sure to get more constructive feedback from their work. While it has not been rolled out across the country yet, if these results can be replicated at more institutions, then it could see Gradescope become an industry standard.

Bett Awards show the best and brightest

The Bett Awards are often a show of what can be added to the classroom to improve learning habits over the course of the year. This year was no different. While there were a large number of awards given out, we have looked at our two favourites as examples of what could be coming to the classroom in 2020.

Fiction Express is a new way to encourage students to read. This is especially useful for students who are not particularly interested in reading and find it hard to motivate themselves to engage with it. Fiction Express gives children a chapter of a book to read each week in an online setting. Once they have read the chapter, they will then get the opportunity to vote for what happens next in the plot. This means that they feel as though they are a part of the story, and it encourages them to engage with it more than with a usual book.

Rugged Robot is the next step up from the programmable turtle that was often a fixture in classrooms during the 1990s. It is fully programmable, with more than 200 different steps programmable to its memory. The design means that students can use it outdoors, which is instantly more exciting than an indoor classroom setting. It is also fully compatible with tablets, which allows teachers to plan lessons around programming the robot.

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