06 April 2022
10 years since I visited BETT
Back to BETT
I'm still feeling the buzz from visiting the BETT Show in London a fortnight ago. It was my first time visiting for 10 years (I could not believe it had been that long) and I have spent the past few days looking back over all the products I saw, exhibitors I spoke to and highlights from the two days at the show.
Primary Leaders' Toolkit
One of the main reasons I visited BETT this year was to help launch the Primary Leaders' Toolkit alongside Neil Rickus and Stella McCarthy. Together, we shared our experiences of family and community engagement, how to lead and develop staff to increase their computing capability, effective resourcing in conjunction with the school development plan, pedagogical and subject knowledge, and how to demonstrate expertise in the subject, such as when discussing computing with staff and external agencies, including SLT and Ofsted. The session was well attended by primary school teachers and CAS members from across the country. The session also allowed me to network with teachers in my region and promote the work CAS is doing to support local schools.
Networking is one of the best things I can remember from the last time I went to BETT, meeting both exhibitors and other teachers. This year's 'after hours' event, hosted by CAS, was a fantastic opportunity to socialise with members of the CAS community who I had interacted with online over the past few years and finally got to meet in person. This included several regular contributors to #CASchat, like Allen Tsui, Rachael Coultart, James Fraser and the main man himself, Simon Johnson.
Not only was the 'after hours' social attended by CAS members but other BETT attendees joined us for a drink and a chat and this opened up lots of conversations about the world of computing both in the UK and internationally. One such conversation I had was with Katelijne from CodeCosmos.
The international section of BETT was a new feature for me and having promised Katelijne that I would come and see her product at work during the 'after hours' event, I visited the CodeCosmos stand on Friday afternoon.
CodeCosmos are a Belgian organisation who have created a brilliant platform that utilises the Scratch 3 interface with the added functionality of error detection, suitable for KS2/3. I was able to have a go on the platform and experience the way that it highlights errors in the block-based code and give feedback to the user. Katelijne explained that this also helps the class teacher to quickly identify the error and respond, without the need to search through entire sequences of code with the pupil. This could be especially helpful for teachers who are new to programming.
I could see what CodeCosmos have created as a brilliant tool to support my more capable coders who are often able to detect and correct errors if they know where to look. I was impressed by the accuracy of the error detection, given how complex block-based coding could be.