The "BETT show of the north" is how Learning and Teaching Scotland sees next week's major exhibition giving Scottish teachers their own education and teaching technology forum.
SETT, the new annual show at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow, comes at a crucial time, with the Scottish Executive publishing its plans last week for broadband technology that is expected to put all Scottish schools and education authorities on a single computer network in the next few years.
The exhibition provides a showcase for 80 hardware and sofware suppliers for schools. A similar number of presentations and seminars will help carry important messages the Scottish Executive and the National Grid for Learning Scotland would like to put across.
Top among these is urging teachers to sign up for ICT training under the New Opportunities Fund before March 2002; training can be taken up to March 2003. New announcements may also be made regarding the final tranche of money for teachers to purchase their own computers and winners of the second round of ICT Innovation Awards which help community projects to purchase equipment.
Schools from around Scotland will demonstrate good practice in learning online, using the web for curriculum projects and tracking pupil progress and attendance. Manufacturers will present the latest whiteboards, projectors and computers, while publishers display new CD-Roms and websites. Numeracy, literacy, science and languages will be addressed, along with other 5-14 subjects.
Speakers such as Alan November from Illinois, who has guided US schools and government organisations through new technological routes, will cast a humorous and international perspective, while Russell Prue, RM's visionary, will look to the future with mobile electronic learning.
Most important will be the 3,000 teachers expected to attend, for it is they who will ensure that this event becomes a crucial talking shop for the practitioners with their feet firmly on the ground.
Gillian Macdonald editor SETT 2001 previewassistant editor TES Scotland