1. GlobalLab at the British Educational Training and Technology Show

    This year, GlobalLab presented its products for the first time at the British Educational Training and Technology Show (BETT). During the four days of the trade show our modest exhibit caused no small stir!

    The British Educational Training and Technology Show, held annually in London for the past 30 years, showcases the use of information technology in education. GlobalLab’s modest exhibit caused no small stir. During the four days of the trade show, we became acquainted with many publishers of educational materials, met many manufacturers of sensors and other equipment for schools, were introduced to useful educational resources and, of course, we met with many teachers from different countries. We look forward to further collaboration and development of GlobalLab’s international expansion in the near future.

    Among other visitor’s to GlobalLab’s booth was the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan, Engel Navapovich Fattakhov. (in the photo Tatiana Krupa, left, and Boris Berenfeld, center).

    GlobalLab’s president Tatiana Krupa has attended BETT for many years and watches with interest the developments in education. What follows is her summary of this year’s exhibition, “This year BETT, the largest educational trade show, met in London for its 30th anniversary. Over 30,000 people attend annually in order to see the latest in educational technology, to track trends in the field of education, and to take part in a variety of lectures and seminars. Here you can catch a glimpse into the future while also noting how quickly things change in the modern world.

    Of note this year:

    1. In past years, the market was full of interactive whiteboards. Now, however, we see increasing numbers of interactive tables. And the shift to mobile handheld devices was even more notable. These changes represent an obvious shift to an activity-based approach to learning. Also prevalent were a huge number of tablets and applications for use on them.
    2. On the applications front: creative platforms for user-enabled application development continue to emerge. This illustrates a general trend - there is an increased interest in participating in the actual creation of new technology development. Simply downloading a ready-to-use application is no longer enough. Rather, users are seeking more involvement and challenge. Actual user involvement in the process of developing apps holds more user appeal as it allows new skills acquisition and learning while also providing an element of challenge in the process.
    3. As always a large number of the usual technology giants were present: Intel, Microsoft, HP, and Google. Much of what they presented included the usual equipment, software and probes. New advanced solutions- such as the ones presented by GlobalLab- are still very rare.
    4. One definite challenge facing the educational technology market is that of terminology. The same term or innovation may be used by multiple companies but used to define different concepts. On the other hand, similar products or services may be offered by a variety of companies using different terms. Key examples of this are the following terms or phrases: educational platform, social networking, and education for the future. This overlap or ambiguous use of terms emphasizes the fact that this field is actively developing and the canon of terms is not yet set.
    5. 3D technology continues to actively develop. There were many more 3D printers this year and there was also expanding access to them. There may be reasonable uses for these printers in school curriculum in the near future.
    6. As always at BETT there were a large number of interesting speakers and exciting topics. One hot topic: Internet security, and the role of the teacher in the future. Some wondered whether technology might not even someday replace the teacher. So far, experts are unanimous in their opinion- no.
    7. Finally, I am pleased that for 30 years the exhibition has not outlived its usefulness. There continues to be a large number of attendees, fruitful meetings with partners, and the discovery of new and potentially interesting market players. During this year’s exhibition BETT collected ideas from the attendees on what education might look like in another 30 years. And this collection of ideas illustrated another fact that was very clear: nobody really knows how education will look in even one year. This rapid development of technology is our reality. "

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