Bett 2016 – Some post conference thoughts from Frances McKeown at Cirrus Assessment
Last week was exciting and exhilarating for everyone involved in edtech. The Bett Show 2016 is generally heralded as the world’s leading edtech event and takes place, annually, right here in London!
Anyone with an interest in education and technology was there, with delegates representing schools, colleges, universities and vocational training providers. Exhibitors showcased innovation in all aspects of teaching and learning with Learning Management Systems sat alongside behaviour management tools, interactive whiteboards, registration software, cashless payment systems and tablet apps.
So where did assessment fit into the Bett picture? The event brochure contained items on assessment and the topic was frequently discussed by speakers around the event. Let’s face it, it’s an element of teaching and learning that can’t be ignored. However, the assessment industry seemed under-represented. We counted only a couple of e-assessment providers in the hall, far less than other sectors. Just where were the assessment providers at such a large and influential education event?
Perhaps there are too many other, industry specific events taking place in the early part of the year? Perhaps the costs of exhibiting at such a large show are simply too high for many of us? Or perhaps, is it possible that Bett just isn’t on the radar of our industry?
Commentary from speakers regarding e-assessment was, at times, frustratingly outdated. We have made such exciting progress as a sector over the last five years. We have so much to shout about!
We need e-assessment evangelists on hand at large events to push our message home. We have come so far from the days of only offering MCQs! Much of our potential audience is simply unaware of the immense potential of e-assessment and the flexibility now available to users. We should be extremely proud of the achievements that have been made in e-assessment and wave our flag at these huge events!
In 2016 the edtech world is our oyster and it is more than ready to listen to us.