BETT and a Good New Year

In December, I went to the massive BETT exhibition and conference at Olympia in London. This is all about ICT in schools – everything you wanted to know and quite a lot you’d probably be better not knowing. The site for BETT 2008 is already up. There is everything there – interactive whiteboards; online material both commercial and public; school systems for administration; security systems (more this year); and a range of hardware from large companies who aren’t going to get free publicity here. Highlights for me included  Futurelab’s stand, where I talked to researcher John Morgan about the Enquiring Minds project, which I’ve mentioned before. Others were English Heritage – wherever you are in the world, there’s a brilliant resource at the Heritage Explorer site and the BBC stand – interesting material but a very nice bag and mug also!

So, it’s 2008. Most people in the world probably say “A happy New Year” but my late colleague Bruce Thomson always insisted that in Scotland, you should wish people “A good (or guid in Scots) New Year”. This was because his grandfather had always insisted that because Scotland was a Presbyterian country, a ‘happy’ New Year could be, well, possibly sinful and hinted at the consumption of strong drink, so best avoided. Being ‘good’ of course was the way to go. You can of course be good and happy and partake of strong drink – in moderation, which of course remains undefined here. So a Guid New Year to you all and wishing you what you need in 2008 and maybe even a wee bit of what you want.


2 Responses to “BETT and a Good New Year”

  1. Kathy Lemaire Says:

    Hi James

    I’m sorry you didn’t manage to come and see the SLA stand at BETT, or maybe you did and I was not there. However I do hope that you found the show useful. When I used to go as a visitor many years ago it was considered slightly nerdy, and you didn’t admit ot going, but nowadays everyone seems to go – subject teaccers, Headteachers, advisors, primary and secondary, and we’ve had a great 4 days meeting so many of them.

    Best wishes to you for a great New Year (from grey and rainy Edinburgh)

    Kathy Lemaire
    Chief Exec, SLA

  2. Ralph Adam Says:

    I was interested to see your comments on BETT. However, as someone interested in information literacy, you didn’t mention the subject at all.

    It’s a massive show, once reserved for anoraks, but now mainstream. Amongst all that ICT did you find anyone who was familiar with the concept of ‘information literacy’? Much of the hard- and soft-ware has little point unless users know how to use it to find, organise and present information effectively.

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