The annual BETT tradeshow took place from the 30th January – 2nd February 2013. This year the event moved to a new home, ExCeL Centre, London and attracted around a whopping 30,000 visitors. With just over 700 exhibitors there were technologies on show to address needs in schools, higher education, and corporate training.
As well as the tradeshow, the BETT Arena featured talks from renowned experts across all areas of learning. The talk by Michael Levine of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop highlighted how technology is redefining social interaction and learning within families. An interesting read on this topic can be found in the New York Times article “Quality Time, Redefined”.
Another interesting talk was given by Daphne Koller, one of the founders Coursera – a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provider. Of note was how Coursera are integrating personalisation into their courses to get learners the content they need.
In parallel to the main tradeshow, three conferences were run as part of the BETT offering. This year a new conference, Learning at Work, was launched addressing corporate training. The talk by Nick Shackleton-Jones (Group Head of eLearning Leadership Development & Talent, BP) gave an insight on how technology can help an organisation to handle the on-boarding of 6,000 new employees per year. Another interesting talk was given by Myles Runham (Head of Online, BBC Academy) on how internal training is managed at the BBC. The key points related to how the learners should be in control of their learning and technology solutions should cater to their expectations. As these expectations are built through the personal use of online services, the use a corporate login and portal are a dated approach. Moreover, the importance of contextualising training videos with related content, as well as keeping them short (less than 5 minutes), was emphasised.