Skip to main content

The totally irresponsible and Guerrilla alternative Guide to BETT


Before I start, if you;re looking for a useful guide to BETT, head over to Ian Addison’s blog and check out his comprehensive BETT for beginners post.  This post is a guide to what I usually get up to.  The main plan is not to have much of a plan.  Please, don’t assume that I’ve done anything in the post.  It is probably just for entertainment.

I’ll cobble together a real preview post of what I’m up to this year when I’m being all serious.

I take BETT for what it is – a big barn where loads of people try to sell you stuff that you don’t need.  However, it is possible to avoid the hype and seek out some excellent CPD if you take the right approach.

In preparation, register at least four time:

  • Once in your proper name, include a Twitter handle.  Use this for people and stuff you actually want to speak to.
  • For the second promote yourself.  This enables you to speak to the people who sell the stuff you really want to play with.  If they think you the holder of a large budget, you can have some fun.
  • Give yourself the most outrageous job tile on the third.  Any rumours that the Priory Geography team are having a competition around this theme are totally unfounded.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, register yourself under the name of someone else at your school in order to sign them up for SPAM.  It’s probably against the fire regulations and probably illegal.

When you get there:

  • Scope out and remember the location of all eateries on your way there.  There was an awesome kebab shop just around the corner from Olympia, I’m hoping for a posher version in the Docklands.
  • Remember to get outside the building from time to time.  Fresh air and vitamin D is in short supply inside. 
  • Get there as early as you can.  Don’t plan to see anything in particular but cruise the place out. Head to the stands that have people talking.  You get ideas from these people and get to see demos of the stuff they are selling.  Ideas are free.
  • Talk to the people on the smaller stands.  Most of their stuff is bonkers, but there are some real gems in there.
  • Get totally distracted and wander off.  Meet up with people and get chatting.  Somehow, I got into the VIP bit last year. 
  • Blag.
  • Create two bingo cards.  Use one when listening to product pitches.  You know, stuff like ‘this will transform learning.’  Use the other one for yourself.  For example, can you get in ‘frosty snowman balls’ into a conversation with a vendor?
  • Go to the seminars.  They are quality and are a welcome respite from people trying to sell you stuff.
  • Remember that this is a massive trade show selling technology.  Don’t expect charging points or WiFi that works.  A notable exception last year was the DELL stand. Socketeer as much as possible, it’s far more fun than taking a spare battery.
  • If you’re going to the evening events – make up a word and see how far it spreads or change T-Shirts in the toilets every 10 minutes. If nothing else, it will be a conversation starter.
  • Tweet me if you find quality real ale.

When you get back to school:

  • Try to wallpaper a section of your classroom with the leaflets you picked up.

Above all, have fun.


  1. Great post about 'the game'.

    Some BETT trophies are worth keeping for posterity. How about a pot of BBC Jam?


  2. Thank you Angus. I remember BBC Jam, well sort of.

    Good idea on some sort of trophy.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Banned Word Board

Today I want to share some simple ideas that I have found to be very effective in the classroom. I can't say that they are my own original ideas, although I have played around with them. The first is the Banned word Board. This is a simple display in the classroom that lists a number of words that are not allowed to be used by pupils in their written or oral answers. The effect has been an increase in the quality of written work, and I have almost made comments such as 'Sir it's simple, the stuff just affects the thing and causes people problems'. Pupils are now more able to use specific language, something that is vital especially at GCSE. I have had to make a few modifications, such as the introduction of 'Heavenly Words' This is an additional display placed on the ceiling. I found this necessary as pupils needed some stimulus in finding replacement words. After advice received after posting the idea on the SLN forum , I have also introduced semi-banned words

Reflections on UKIEF10: Keynote: Michael Furdyk

The first keynote of the day was from Michael Furdyk , who was introduced as someone who just makes you feel inadequate! You can certainly see why ! The co-founder of TakingITGlobal had an inspiring tale to tell, and one that has powerful implications for education. Firstly, it’s worth taking a look at this TED Talk highlighted and used by Michael during his talk: Trust is an issue in school when we need to let go – this puts up some barriers when it comes to co-construction of learning or indeed, adults learning from young people. There are a lot of links here to projects such as Digital Leaders where young people become the experts and driving force. The question is, why aren’t we showing videos such as this in assemblies? Two features of Michael’s talk hit me quite hard. The way in which he acknowledged the role of having supportive parents and a flexible, supportive school system was clear. I have no idea how the UK education system can be as flexible as described by

What makes a learning experience profound? Personal reflections and possible implications for classroom practice.

I have recently begun a Leadership Pathways journey.  As part of the first core day, we were asked to reflect on a profound learning experience. This got me thinking about how many profound learning experiences I have both been involved in, and how many I have been able to give to others.  Our group came up with a huge long list, but these are my five. Emotional Connected Demanding Reflective Collaborative As always, these are personal thoughts and quite mixed up.  I put them here so that I can look back on them (plus they’d get lost inside my world-cup-free brain) 1. Emotional I can’t think of a time where deep learning hasn’t engaged my emotions.  From being awe inspired to that tingle feeling when a student gets a light bulb moment.  From this-is-the-happiest-day-ever, to I-think-I’m-about-to die.  How often do we engage the emotions of those we teach?  Here, I would argue that having a safe learning environment is not always conducive to profound