When I was growing up, my dad always went to the BETT conference. He worked as an IT teacher in a PRU and this was certainly one of the highlights of his year. It was for us, too.
This was the conference where he would come home with a bag-of-goodies. We would stash up on cool triangular highlighter pens, strangely shaped stress balls and an abundance of leaflets.
After seven years of teaching, I finally had the opportunity to go. Our IT consultants 123ICT hired a coach and I went with our School Business Manager- who was looking for IT solutions. I was looking for freebies.
In my quest for freebies, however, I learnt a few things:
Firstly, Spheros are really cool. You can watch the video here. These are really great for coding and augmented reality. I was first introduced to them at TMOxford by Mark Anderson (@ICTEvangelist).
Networking was a huge part of being at BETT. I met many passionate people whose enthusiasm was contagious. I’ve kept in touch with some of these through Twitter over the year. Make sure you get their Twitter names- it’ll make life easier later on.
Next year I’ll spend less time at the stalls and more time at the seminars. I’ll look at the schedule and choose in advance exactly what I want to see. That’s where I learnt a lot- especially at the Google and Apple zones. I’ll try not to get caught up in all the excitement and hysteria- taking it all in like a small boy visiting the Big Apple- as I enter the building and lose out on the first 2 hours. Hopefully, I’ll be a little more decisive in 2016!
The deals. You might find some great bargains there but also look online. I got two cheap Amazon books by Rachel Jones and Mark Anderson. I look forward to finding more great discounts in January. I would recommend using Twitter to find these and avoiding the risk of missing out.
Finally, this last tip is from Ian Addison: bring a charger for your phone. It will die if you don’t.