BETT attracts major IT players targeting education


BETT attracts major IT players targeting education

Microscope contributor

The strength of the education sector to attract the big names in the IT world was on display at the BETT show with Microsoft, HP, Intel and Dell all rolling up at with a large presence at Olympia.


The show, which attracts around 30,000 visitors and runs over four days, has been busy despite the cold weather conditions with teachers and ICT specialists flooding the halls to examine the latest products on offer.


Once you fought past the robot handing out sweets to get to Dell's stand, the vendor was using the show to unveil its Connected Classroom concept, which links together technology across a school beyond the desktop, using interactive whiteboards and tablets to share information between students and teachers.


Josh Claman, vice president public at Dell EMEA, said that it had reacted to feedback from teachers and parents: "We know that computers alone are not enough. Students, teachers and parents must be able to connect with each other and to share information wherever and whenever they want."


Microsoft also had a large presence at BETT, using the show to talk up its involvement in the Home Access Programme and the importance of extending the number of PCs used by children away from school.


"Due to the way that children are using PCs, there is an increasing blurring between learning time and leisure time and so computers in the home are becoming as important as those in the classroom," said Ray Fleming, education marketing manager for Microsoft UK.


Elsewhere Intel was proclaiming the importance of using IT in education to drive the global economy with the vendor showing off a host of hardware that uses its technology, ranging from laptops, servers and PCs to underline its interest in the education market.


Around the keynotes and seminars covering the practical use of ICT in the classroom the show will be remembered most for the activity around the Home Access Programme. Stephen Crowne, chief executive at Becta, said that the those children excluded from using the internet and computers outside of the classroom because of poverty had to be included.


"The benefits of technology are clear, but it is vital that children are not excluded from access to technology, whether at school or, just as importantly, in the home," he said.


BETT runs until Saturday 16 January.

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