BETT 2018 - Equipping Students with Education tools for Emerging Technology Areas.
Went to BETT yesterday in London (Europe’s largest Technology in Education exhibition). Past years have been all about interactive whiteboards, then large touch screens (basically blackboard replacements and teaching aids) This year was much more about “Interactive Learning” and student involvement. BETT2018 was all about Robots and learning how to code and having fun doing it. And being introduced into classrooms at and early age. I am 100% behind this and at CES2018 (Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) saw some really good examples of this too (for example ROOT). I have captured only some of the “Learning Coding through fun with Robots” examples here, but not sure how a teacher or an educational curriculum decision maker, can chose from these. Lots of early stage stuff. This will no doubt mature a bit and become more focussed by next year.
Four other significant findings that also caught my eye at BETT:
1. If you follow the wearable technology, IoT, IoMe, IoCar, IoHome and AI areas as I do, you will have noticed the innovation in the Smartphone + Sensor’s area. Saw some interesting education tools in this area from Vernier and IDS Education (their distributor in the UK) at BETT2018. “Go Direct Sensors” that now work directly with Smartphones to let students apply technology to create real world solutions. These education curriculum tools are ready for prime time and caught my eye.
2. AR/VR/360º capture, content and storytelling. Not as predominant as I had hoped as this is a “learn by actually being there” proposition. Devices are readily available, and the Education based content is coming, but early days of a big opportunity to learn in an experiential way. As with other application sectors, this is now all about relevant content and applications and then blending that into an existing way of working. But provides a very experiential way for students to learn. Kind of like when years ago classes started using soundproof booths and headphones with mikes to individually learn languages. Was very happy to see the Humaneyes VUZE 3D360º camera on show, and its “Borderless Education Experience”. The VUZE camera is an affordable tool for students to create meaningful content and learn storytelling in this new medium. Humaneyes is also developing a hosting facility (“Humaneyes Zone”) for 360º content so student projects can be stored and made available to others. Well done Humaneyes for recognising the Educational sector and providing the tools for learning.
3. Also at CES2018 in Las Vegas this year there was a whole huge hall dedicated to two things - Robots (discussed above) and Drones. These technologies are progressing rapidly into seriously valuable application areas, and it is appropriate that emerging graduates learn the dynamics and skills needed to be productive in these emerging areas. The subject of Drones was not covered well at BETT, but very pleased to see Parrot exhibiting on this very topic with it’s Parrot Mambo Edu Kit. This really caught my eye and will be looking for more at BETT 2019.
4. Innovations from Octagon studios to learn by creating. Building on their huge library of AR Cards for children of all ages to view, manipulate and interact with animals, cars, space ships, dinosaurs, etc.
I had a discussion with Hasbi Asyadiq, CEO of Octagon spinoff Assemblr World. Assemblr World is a Smartphone/Tablet App to “virtually” build things from a library of over half a million objects and then Augment the Reality of the real world with your creations. You can also work collaboratively and share your personal projects. This is potentially a learning tool to create, collaborate, share and place these virtual objects and environments into the real world around you for viewing on your or other's smartphone or tablet screens in an "Augmented Reality" way. Looking forward to seeing this develop into a real learning tool.