By Mark Anderson
Writing this article, I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. It seems like yesterday that the doors opened to Bett, the largest edtech event of its type in the world, and it was a simply marvellous occasion. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we have been crying out for the chance and opportunity to come together, connect, reconnect and learn about the latest and greatest in educational technology. But what if you couldn’t attend and are keen to find out some of the latest innovations and tools out there to help learning, teaching, and more?
In this post, I’ll highlight five of our favourite picks from Bett 2022 for you to explore, learn more about and see if they’ll work for you in your setting.
Persona Life Skills
Persona Life Skills is an online learning platform, backed with research evidence, that supports secondary school age learners in developing SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health), employability and other related life skills. We had the good fortune to welcome CEO Pete Read and co-founder, Dr Leila Walker to our stand to record a conversation for our #CheckItOutshow.
It is designed to be flexible and can be used in the classroom or as part of a blended or remote learning approach. It has been developed to help improve academic performance, help schools hit Ofsted, ISI, IB, CBSE and other personal development targets and can significantly reduce PSHE and SEL teacher/coordinator’s workloads.
Marty the Robot!
After winning a Bett award for Hardware, AV, AR/VR, Robotics or Digital Device at the Bett awards, I was delighted to be able to get hands-on with this versatile bit of robotics kit at Bett. Designed to be used from Early Years onwards, Marty (from Robotical Ltd) can be programmed and supported with block-based programming tools such as Scratch and Scratch Jnr, up to more complex languages such as Python. Marty comes with curriculum-aligned resources, and you can even get a free trial which also comes with free training!
classroom.cloud and its safeguarding tools
Shortlisted as a finalist in the Bett awards for best ‘Secondary – Digital Learning Product’, classroom.cloud is a fully featured hybrid solution for classroom management of devices your learners are using within your lesson. Device agnostic and rich with features to support teaching and learning, Education Alliance Finland gave classroom.cloud a 94% rating for its pedagogical approach.
The recently added safeguarding tools track the words typed into the tools learners are using, from Teams chat to Microsoft Word to their Google searches. The contextual intelligence-based Risk Index helps your school determine the severity of triggered events and ensures you can quickly and easily identify and support vulnerable students.
The word cloud feature lets you see trending topics in a heartbeat and all flags can be shared directly into your central safeguarding record, if you’re using CPOMS or MyConcern.
What’s been good to see over the last few years is an increase in the number of new tools that have been developed to link in with the science of learning.
Using the learning around retrieval practice, spaced practice and more, it’s great to see tools that have been developed with this in mind. One such tool is an app called Nurture, targeted at improving assessment and feedback.
The app runs best in Microsoft Teams but can also work in a Google Workspace for Edu environment.
As we all (should) know, closing the feedback loop in a timely manner is a good target to aim for. As Hattie shares, feedback should be, “Just in time, just for me, just for where I am in my learning process, and just what I need to help me move forward”. That’s what Nurture aims to support teachers in doing with its tool.
Deliver Computing 360
DC360, as it’s affectionately known, is a cloud-based, comprehensive online learning platform and teaching resource, with more than 400 lesson plans, tracking of student progress, built-in software such as a fully featured graphics package which, when added all together allows students to not only master the difficult topics within the computing curriculum, but also allows them to build on their prior knowledge and extend this so that they achieve higher grades at GCSE and A Level.
With agnostic access to the platform – Mac, Windows, Chromebook, smartphones, tablets and some gaming consoles – DC360 has lots of features which students and teachers will love. With coverage across KS1-KS4 Computing, plus all the major exam boards such as OCR, AQA and Edexcel, if you’re looking for a fantastic resource to support your Computing department and curriculum, this platform is one to check out.
Add to this the auto-marked test, instant feedback for learners, personal gradebook and that it’s been created by a highly experienced Computing teacher and Computing lead who understands the pressures of both teaching and leading on Computing, plus lots of other brilliant little features (such as supporting the collation and creation of coursework bundles for sending off to exam boards), DC360 gets a big thumbs up from us.
Learn more about Deliver Computing 360 here https://www.delivercomputing360.com/.
To sum up
That is just a flavour of some of the many fantastic tools, apps, systems and other software that were shared at Bett. We are sure there are many other tools that you would recommend, given the huge marketplace that is edtech.
If you’re a vendor reading this and wish you were included in this list of five, we’re sorry you weren’t mentioned. However, if you’d like a free opportunity to share about your product, why not consider joining us for our monthly #CheckItOutShow? It highlights edtech tools, products and services, and is hosted by NetSupport’s CEO, Al Kingsley and our Head of Education, Mark Anderson. To register your interest, simply head to https://netsupportsoftware.com/showcase.