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Bett 2022 – What will visitors find at ExCeL London this March?

The organisers of The Bett Show tell us why it’s worth making the trip to ExCeL London in March for the return of what promises to be one of the biggest education events of the year…

  • Bett 2022 – What will visitors find at ExCeL London this March?

Where?
ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL

When?
The show’s opening hours are as follows:

  • Wednesday 23rd March, 10am to 6pm
  • Thursday 24th March, 10am to 8pm
  • Friday 25th March, 10am to 5pm

How do I attend?
Registration for Bett is free of charge if registering in advance; for more details, visit bettshow.com

Following our year-round offering of professional development, thought leadership from some of the biggest names in education and brand new virtual events during a time of ongoing disruption, Bett is now back to reunite the global education community in person.

With the education community now looking beyond the crisis response to the pandemic, the overarching theme of Bett 2022 is: Create the Future. When challenged with exceptional, unprecedented problems and barriers to learning during the recent disruption, it proved vital for educators to think outside the box and solve problems creatively.

Now, armed with more edtech solutions and resources than ever before, educators have the opportunity to reimagine traditional models of pedagogy, so that students can plug into a personalized, future-facing learning experience. In the process, they’ll become more resilient and creative lifelong learners, able to harness their knowledge and skills in tackling the challenges of tomorrow.

This year, Bett is hosting over 225 inspiring speakers, who will be exploring themes that range from students’ mental and physical wellbeing, to education equality and the future of edtech. The keynote speakers include comic actor and writer Sally Phillips, who will be drawing on her experiences of raising a SEND child and discussing how technology has played a role in inclusive home learning.

Also presenting will be Gogglebox favourite and director of Siddiqui Education, Baasit Siddiqui, who will be sharing his insights as a teacher with over 10 years’ experience of improving social mobility for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Back with a bang, Bett 2022 will feature nine theatres and various content features offering more than 90 combined hours of uplifting and CPD-accredited content. From the main Arena at the heart of the show, to the new ‘Esports and Ahead’ feature, Bett’s fantastic programme will offer a huge variety of enlightening and thought-provoking sessions.

A new feature for 2022, Bett After Hours, will see opening hours on the second day extended into the evening, so that visitors unable attend Bett during the day can still experience what the show has to offer. This will include professional development content and sharing of best practice as part of our Twilight CPD sessions, plus the opportunity to connect with peers at our evening networking and social events.

The ever-popular student-led Kids Judge Bett feature will be back for a seventh year, once again seeing primary and secondary pupils and their parents, as well as SEND and FE students, exploring the show’s stands, exhibitors and products and selecting their favourites across 10 categories for judging.

We’ll also be revealing the Bett 2022 Awards Winners at the show, celebrating those edtech game-changers that have excelled in offering genuinely innovative ICT provision and support for educators, with a clear focus on transforming education.

This year, we’re focusing on reuniting everyone in person again – so if you’ve yet to register for free admission to the show, visit bettshow.com/welcome to find out how. We look forward to seeing you in March!

Q&A: David Wright

The director of the UK Safer Internet Centre talks us through his presentations at the show, and the online safety concerns currently on the organisation’s radar

What topics will you be presenting at Bett 2022?
I’m doing two sessions on different subjects. One is focused on media literacy and children’s digital skills, and the other on the sexual harassment and abuse that children can encounter online.

What will the media literacy session involve?
It relates to a project we’ve been running for a number of years, examining how children are taught digital skills. I’ve worked in the space for 20 years, and within the broader education community we’ve spent considerable time and effort educating children about online harms, yet they still encounter harm regularly – so why is that?

Many of the efforts that have been made still tend to involve one-off assemblies, or showing videos to different year groups that depict extreme examples of online harms. But when you learn to drive a car, you don’t just sit down and watch films of car crashes, on the basis that if you know what a car crash looks like, you’re less likely to get involved in one. That’s not how we learn.

While I’m not denying the importance of making sure children understand what online harms look like, I would suggest that it’s an approach that doesn’t work in isolation. What we need to do is change the culture, and just like driving, help students reach a state of ‘unconscious competency’ when it comes to their online behaviour and activities.

What online safety issues have you recently been addressing at the UK Safer Internet Centre?
Wellbeing is a key one. We’ve seen data from The Prince’s Trust and Girl Guiding Association highlighting the impact lockdown has had on some children. The specific issues aren’t all that different from what we’ve seen before – mainly pressures to be online and conform with certain online behaviours – but lockdown has amplified these issues, particularly the amount of screen time young people are presently exposed to.

We’ve also seen some new developments in the commercialisation of the internet. Up to now, young people have adopted ‘influencers’ as role models and often aspired to become one themselves.

More recently, however, subscription- based platforms have prompted young people and even children to realise that they can generate considerable money through selling original content.

At the far end of the scale are platforms like OnlyFans, which are typically restricted to over 18s, though in some cases parents have either been unaware of their children setting up an account, or even set one up themselves, and used it as a source of family income.

When children start to discover that they can sell their own intimate images and generate revenue from them in the region of £700 per week, it becomes a serious concern.

Within the past month we’ve also been dealing with a huge increase in TikTok and Instagram accounts created by children during the autumn 2021 half term, which carry explicit and obscene content targeting and ridiculing teachers at their school. So far we’ve managed to report around 2,000 such accounts and have them removed.

SESSION DETAILS

Online sexual harassment
23rd March, 3.50pm to 4.35pm, Bett Academy Live (South)

Beyond Children’s Media Literacy
25th March, 3pm-3.30pm, Teaching & Learning Theatre

What’s new this year?

ESPORTS @BETT
Hosted in association with the British Esports Association, this brand new feature will showcase how schools and universities can harness the growing industry of competitive gaming in order to engage students, support teaching and learning objectives, and identify future skills.

LEADERS @ BETT THEATRE
The place to be for those seeking inspiration in the fields of policy, digital strategy and whole school management. In sessions led by institution leaders and their teams, expect detailed discussion of digital strategies, approaches to upskilling, technology-assisted student assessments and more besides.

LEARNIT
Learnit is the global community for education leaders driving impactful change. Learnit will be hosting intellectually honest conversations on the future of learning, and how meaningful connections can be created between those affecting positive change for their learners.

BETT AFTER HOURS
Bett’s move to becoming a three-day event will be accompanied by the introduction of Bett After Hours on 24th March – an extension of the show’s opening hours to 8pm, giving visitors who can’t attend during class or work hours the chance to explore the show

Why visit Bett?

John Tait, director of school improvement and deputy CEO at Areté Learning Trust, shares his thoughts on why educators should make the trip to ExCeL…

What have been your own reasons for attending in the past?
I’ve always liked attending Bett so that I can be inspired by what the education and technology sectors have to offer, and also see what’s on the horizon. It’s important to stay at the cutting edge of what’s now possible, and Bett is a great way of doing that. I’ve also found the talks, presentations and professional learning opportunities there to be fantastic. I always come back from the show with a multitude of ideas inspired by my visit.

How has the show previously compared to your expectations?
If I’m going to make time to be out of school, I’m going to have high expectations. I’ll want what I experience there to be of high quality and have a measurable impact on my thinking, and in all the years I’ve been going, Bett has never disappointed.

Have any previous Bett presentations, exhibits, meetings or other memories particularly stood out for you?
I particularly like the showcase stands that Google and Microsoft have, with their live seminars and presentations happening every hour, on the hour, delivered by authentic classroom practitioners – not just salespeople who have never set foot in a classroom before.

Q&A: Kelly Hannaghan

Those seeking advice on how to tackle morale and absenteeism should set aside some time for the sessions presented by this mental health and wellbeing consultant

What topics will you be presenting at Bett 2022?
I’m running three CPD sessions in the Bett Academy Live theatres, and chairing a panel discussion in the Teaching and Learning Theatre on catch-up and recovery.

What will the panel discussion consist of?
It will be a half-hour conversation with Gemma Oaten, the actor and patron for SEED Eating Disorder Support Services, Matthew Crawford, CEO of the Embark Federation MAT and Jack Keeler MBE, who’s a governor at Park Way Primary School.

We’ll be taking a deep dive into inclusive approaches to wellbeing. We know that many young people have thrived during the extended time they’ve recently had at home, especially young people with SEND, but have found it challenging to transition back into the school environment.
Alongside that there’s been a sharp increase in anxiety-based school avoidance, so we’ll be looking at the push and pull factors between school and home, and considering how young people are currently grappling with these.

I’ll also be discussing with Gemma Oaten the rise in eating disorders – not just in terms of restricting food intake, as with conditions such as anorexia nervosa, but also the increase there’s been in binge eating disorders, driven by young people using food to suppress how they’re feeling, often accompanied by rising levels of self-harm.

Can you tell us more about your CPD sessions?
My first session will explore strategies for supporting student wellbeing in classroom, based on an extensive amount of training I’ve been giving to secondary school staff. I’ll be putting forward ideas for how to develop a ‘nurture first’ approach and build a therapeutic learning space, where young people can be seen and heard, and their feelings validated.

Another session will look at ways to prevent loss of learning, Rather than focusing only on closing the attainment gap, I believe we also need to consider the gaps that are growing in terms of social deprivation and children’s emotional development.

What are the most significant barriers inhibiting schools’ capacity to offer pastoral support?
One of the most obvious is lack of time. We’re in the aftershock of the pandemic, seeing staff who are struggling emotionally and showing stress responses. School leaders need to be clear as to what they expect their staff to provide, and what they want their ‘wellbeing menu’ for young people to consist of. Only with with the right professional and personal development will staff be able to recognise and respond appropriately to students’ needs.

Follow Kelly on Twitter via @mindworkmatter

SESSION DETAILS

Beyond Catchup and Recovery: An inclusive approach to student wellbeing and mental health
24th March, 10.50am to 11.20am, Teaching & Learning Theatre

Closing the gap for student wellbeing
24th March, 3.50pm to 4.20pm, Bett Academy Live (North)

How to support your school community to enhance children’s learning and living outcomes
25th March, 11.40am to 12.10pm, Bett Academy Live (North)

Keeping our educators well with staff wellbeing that matters!
25th March, 3pm to 3.30pm, Bett Academy Live (North)

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