Where is ICT in schools heading? What's worked and what hasn't? How can I use ICT in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning? How is ICT being used in schools abroad? Where's the evidence that ICT makes a difference? If you want to know the answers to these and many more questions, then the BETT seminars are a great place to go. The seminars are held every day and are free, although it's advisable to book in advance (for a small fee) if there are sessions you simply do not want to miss.
This year's TES keynote lecture follows on from the BectaTES ICT in Practice Awards, a showcase for some of the most imaginative, innovative and inspiring uses of ICT by UK teachers, at Seminar Theatre A, 10.30am.
The TES keynote is being delivered by Professor Angela McFarlane, professor of education and director of learning technology at the University of Bristol. Angela's speech is entitled "BETT Awards 2015". "I shall be showing some of the prototype ICT developments by Nesta Futurelab and talking about which of these might be embedded in practice - and what has to happen between now and 2015 for that to happen," she says.
Doug Brown, divisional manager of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) ICT in schools division, will be delivering a lecture, "ICT - A Change for the Better", which will include a look at how ICT can enhance teaching and learning.
Many people talk about the need to change our assessment and examination systems if we are to truly benefit from the explosion of ICT in schools.
Several speakers from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) will be explaining how the QCA is preparing for the future of e-assessment.
The QCA's speakers comprise Ken Boston, chief executive officer, Gareth Mills, principle ICT consultant, and Martin Ripley, head of e-strategy (page 40).
Martin's lecture, "E-assessment: Delivering Fair Assessments for Learners", will include a look at a major pilot electronic assessment project that will involve more than 1,000 schools, and the e-scope project, which will see design and technology students using digital pens, voice recorders and portable video recorders to create examination portfolios.
If you want to know about the impact of ICT in education, then the lecture by Ken Dyson, HMI adviser for ICT, "Progress in ICT - Evidence from Inspection", will have lots to offer. You'll also find solid, practical advice and case studies on the use of ICT in the classroom.
Interactive whiteboards have poured into schools as a result of the DfES's multi-million pound project, and Christina Preston, managing director of Mirandanet, will be delivering a lecture entitled "E-learning and Interactive Whiteboards Projects for Classrooms and Staffrooms".
Educational consultant and TES Online contributer Roger Frost is talking is about "Enhancing Science with ICT". Roger will demonstrate a variety of tools and resources for doing this. The Specialist Schools Trust will host several sessions that highlight some of the good ICT work carried out by teachers in the classroom.
What has Bob the Builder got to do with ICT in the classroom? If you go to the lecture by Maggie Wagstaff, advisory teacher for Warwickshire LEA, you'll find out. The workshop, entitled "ICT in the Real World", shows how fairy-tale characters, TV characters like Bob the Builder and everyday application of technology (like doing the washing) can be used to introduce activities that involve planning, sequencing and organising. Finally, Stephen Heppell, departing director of the Ultralab educational technology research centre at Anglia Polytechnic University, will be delivering his keynote speech in his traditional Saturday morning spot. This year, Stephen will look at the impact and implications of children using ICT in their early years.
A new element to this year's seminars is an international section, which will have speakers from the US, Canada and Australia, who will be talking about how ICT is being used in their schools and contrasting with examples of practice in the UK.
With many speakers from subject and teacher associations as well, there is bound to be something of interest to everyone visiting BETT. As Barbara Brookes, director of Educational Events, which has organised this year's seminar programme, puts it: "We are trying to cater for everybody, so whether you're FE, HE, secondary, primary or early years, there's a session that is aimed at your area of interest. What we aim to give is a complete overview of ICT in education and the sessions are not just aimed at specialists."
Ken Boston's talk is on Thursday January 13 at 1pm in Seminar Theatre A Doug Brown's talk on ICT and changes is on Wednesday January 12 at 1.45pm in Seminar Theatre A
Ken Dyson's lecture on the progress of ICT is on Friday January 14 at 1.45pm in Seminar Theatre A
Roger Frost's look at how ICT can enhance science is on Friday January 14 at 1.45pm in Seminar Theatre E
Stephen Heppell's keynote on ICT, learning and creativity is on Saturday January 16 at 10.45am in Seminar Theatre A
Angela McFarlane's TES Keynote is on Thursday January 13 at 10.30am in Seminar Theatre A
Gareth Mills' talk is on Saturday January 16 at 2.30pm in Seminar Theatre A Christina Preston's talk on interactive whiteboard projects is on Wednesday January 12 at 3pm in Seminar Theatre E
Martin Ripley's lecture on e-assessment is on Wednesday January 12 at 11am in Seminar Theatre D
Maggie Wagstaff's workshop on ICT for early years is on Saturday January 16 at 12 noon in Seminar Theatre C
Specialist Schools Trust sessions on how ICT can be used to enhance science and maths are on Saturday January 16 at 1.30pm and 2.30pm respectively in Seminar Theatre E
International speakers from the US, Canada and Australia can be heard on Wednesday January 12 in Seminar Theatre D, with the first session beginning at 12.30pm
For information on the seminars and to book a place, go to www.bettshow.co.uk visitorseminars
All seminar details were correct at time of going to press. To check details go to www.bettshow.co.ukvisitorseminars