If you walk around the edges of the BETT show you'll often see groups of people queuing to get into rooms. It's a sign of the growing popularity of the seminar programme. "We spend a lot of time talking to people and finding out what they want from the seminars, and we aim to offer something for everyone," says Barbara Brookes, director of Educational Events, which organises the seminars.
As usual, you'll find a wide and interesting mix of speakers and topics, covering many areas of the curriculum and relevant to the classroom teacher. Delivering this year's TES Keynote session are Professor Tim Brighouse and educational consultant John Davitt. Their presentation is called "How teachers change their practice to change the world" (Thursday, January 12). John says: "We'll aim to shine a spotlight on inspired but sustainable practice, going beyond a pointless chase towards 'state of the art' and looking instead at 'the art of the state' - how each teacher creates their own desired zone for learning. We will also look further into how classroom practice can change when the learning needs, technology and teacher confidence converge."
At this year's show are a number of games-orientated products, and many teachers will be wondering just how useful computer games are in the classroom. Keri Facer and Richard Sandford of Nesta Futurelab will be providing an overview on the current research in their presentation, "Computer games in the classroom: the state of play" (Friday, January 13).
"We've just produced a handbook on games and learning (www.nestafuturelab.orgresearchfindings 03_01.htm) and we'll be talking about the key themes. We've been working with 4 schools, 16 teachers and more than 100 children and have lots of interesting findings. We'll also be discussing a MORI poll on teacher attitudes to games and what the key issues are for using games in the classroom," says Keri.
Nesta Futurelab is also hosting a seminar on mobile technology, which is likely to make an impact on teaching and learning over the next few years.
Martin Owen and Dan Sutch will be discussing "Mobile technology for learning" on Thursday, January 12. "We'll be looking at the new learning opportunities offered by mobile devices and covering the practical issues like cost and keeping control," says Dan.
Interactive whiteboards are in most schools these days, but what impact do they have? In a presentation entitled "Working with whiteboards - effects on teaching, learning and attainment" (Wednesday, January 11), Christina Preston, John Cuthell and fellows of Mirandanet (a global educational research programme), will discuss the results and share advice. "The aim is to find out how whiteboards and other peripheral technologies can assist in raising achievement and managing change," says Christina.
Professor Stephen Heppell, formerly head of educational research centre Ultralab will be presenting two seminars this year. The first is called "Global innovation in learning: why the world's teachers hold the future of learning in their hands and why ICT means that the future looks good"
(Wednesday, January 11). "It might seem obvious, but the 21st century is not the 20th century," says Stephen. "The old factory delivery model of learning is giving way to one that leaves teachers as researchers - exploring, evaluating and sharing every new direction."
Stephen's second presentation (Saturday, January 14) is called "We've got global technology: welcome to the global curriculum". It looks at how technology is rapidly joining up our learning world.
Ben Walsh of the Historical Association will be posing the question: "Where is history in terms of the agenda of embedding ICT in learning?" (Saturday, January 14) "I'll be using lots of practical examples to show that there's lots of commonality between IT and history and they can support each other," he says.
On Friday, January 13, the Specialist Schools and Academy Trust is hosting a series of seminars in its own seminar theatre. The sessions include: "New technologies helping personalised learning in your school," by David Crossley, who will describe how technology can be used as a gateway to personalising education; "Platforms in the air - opportunities for the delivery of personalised learning," by Tony Parkin and Margaret Wilson, which will cover learning platforms and learning environments and include case studies; and "E-mentoring and e-learning", by Paul Hynes and Phil Bourne, which will look at online mentoring.
These feature an impressive line-up of speakers
Wednesday, January 11
1pm: A vital role for technology in a people business. Ralph Tabberer, chief executive of the Training and Development Agency for Schools
Thursday, January 12
10.30am: Shakespeare's guide to e-learning - a head's view of ICT and school improvement. Dame Enid Bibby, Head Teacher of Wood Green High School in Wednesbury
2pm: How teachers change their practice to change the world. Professor Tim Brighouse and educational consultant John Davitt
Friday, January 13
11am: It's personal but is it mine? Professor Angela McFarlane of Bristol University
Saturday, January 14
10.30am: We've got global technology: welcome to the global curriculum.
Professor Stephen Heppell, director of learning, 3K Ireland
These provide a fascinating account of how ICT is being used in education in other countries. This year's speakers include, on Wednesday, January 11, Ron Beyers from South Africa (1pm), plus Monica Beglau (11am) and Anthony Gordon from the USA (2.15pm), and on Thursday, January 12, John Munro (10.30am) and Kristina Love (12.30pm) from Australia.
Find out how ICT is being used in the classroom - including Peter Steele, head teacher of Princeville Primary School in West Yorkshire (Wednesday, January 11, 1pm), and Baldev Singh, winner of the innovation award at the National Teaching Awards 2004 (Thursday, January 12, 3.15pm).