The last week was incredible rich of events and experiences I will think of for a long time. I was in London to visit the BETT Show and to participate the MirandaNet sessions and the TeachMeet BETT 2013, both located at the Show.
To make it really short, I totally agree with Dughall and his BETTophobia-Post – for me this visit is totally about the people and not the show (anymore). During all the days in the new ExCel exhibition center I had the feeling that I am not the audience they are addressing. It seems to me that the focus is not about teachers anymore but about IT-managers and sellers from foreign educational departments. Sometimes it’s really a bit surprising how fast the expressions in their faces changed when you “reveal” where you are and where you come from.
But the good point is: This is a very good opportunity to meet a different kind of persons.
One of them are the sessions run by MirandaNet. They attract usually an unique mixture of people interested in education, from teachers to researchers, from educational consultants to representative of firms active in education. Although the room was hard to find at the North Gallery (I think only rare people realized that there is a gallery at all…) the room was filled all the time. You can find all the presentations and the curated materials at the homepage. I am really grateful that I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time there and meet lot of twitter-friends first time in real life.
The other occasion is the TeachMeet that takes place on Friday evening after the show. During the last year I had the opportunity to watch and participate two TeachMeets over Twitter and livestream. The main idea is that teachers share their best-practice examples in 7-minute or 2-minute-nano-presentations to inspire other teachers, so that everybody gets involved. Usually there are more speakers then time allows and they get picked by a “fruit machine”.
TeachMeet during BETT is a bit special – as I had to realize. When I signed up for speaking I had the two events in mind with around 30 people participating. As we entered the room and there was enough place for around 250 people I gasped – I really didn’t’ expect this! When the event started I get more and more excited, every time the “fruit machine” picked up a name – and it happened exactly what I was afraid of: I entered about 100 prize draws at show without winning anything and then my name gets picked by this machine.
What happened then? Well, you can make you’re own judgement: You can find my little prezi about “How to make your own low-cost high-speed videos” here and from 33:12 in the first Youtube-video. After speaking I felt big relief and could start concentrating to all the other brilliant speakers and participants.
During the whole time an amazing team of artists created the “Wall of fame” by caricaturing the speakers live during their presentations. So I felt very honored to find myself next to Ian Pratt (@sciencelabman), Bev Evans (@bevevans22) and Peter Yeomans (@ethinking)!
I will not make many words about it, as it is hard to express this in a few sentences, but I’d like to thank John and Christina – who made my stay in London possible – and Theo and Jan who made sure that I won’t forget these days. A few little impressions from these amazing days: