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Capturing the Zeitgeist of BETT 2017

The BETT educational technology (EdTech) show remains to be one of the global meeting places for those passionate about harnessing the power of technology in education. The Futuresource team relish the opportunity to explore the halls at this show and wish to share the zeitgeist of BETT 2017 in our free downloadable show report. 

The emphasis and focus of BETT has changed subtly over the last few years with fewer of the major textbook publishers in attendance. A large part of the show floor was dedicated to management systems and tools for schools/administrators but digital content solutions demonstrations were relatively limited in comparison. Google and Microsoft are arguably now the key exhibitors at the show, with big crowds always visible on their stands. 

Numerous new computing devices were announced by Microsoft and Google and OEM partners targeting the education sector. The supply chain has moved towards developing custom made education SKUs that are built for students e.g. toughened gorilla glass being utilised by some for protection against students dropping devices.

Some of the key headlines and trends at the show were as expected. Virtual reality (VR), robotics and coding were extremely prominent but BETT 2017 also saw some interesting new developments in the areas of data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and smart security.

There was a large number of VR demonstrations taking place, highlighting a variety of applications that directly support the curriculum together with enhanced interactivity, typically via standalone handsets.

In terms of the management platforms and tool vendors, the focus seemed to be on a modular expansion of their solution ecosystems, leveraging their existing customer bases in order to cross sell capabilities and solutions. As vendors look to develop their portfolios further, a blurring of the lines between product categories and providers can be seen from an end-user perspective. An example of this is the merger between leading communications provider SchoolComms and leading cashless payments provider ParentPay.

Analytics and various applications for artificial intelligence (AI) were the new kids on the block at BETT 2017, with emerging product categories for standalone tools and evolving functionality for solutions like the MIS and VLE already present in schools. In the back office, tools designed to support decision making across Multi Academy Trusts and those that draw insight from multiple platforms and data sources are both emerging categories.

In the classroom, the increased use of formative assessment tools to guide student progression and the adoption of adaptive learning solutions that drives content discovery were both increasingly evident on the show floor.

Finally, vendors selling smart technologies for access control, attendance monitoring and cashless payment solutions had an extremely strong presence on the show floor. The technologies employed for user identification continue to evolve with solutions integrating RFID, NFC, facial recognition and fingerprinting each seeing increased adoption alongside more traditional card scanning solutions, typically found in school canteens. As schools increasingly invest in EdTech solutions they are more vulnerable to targeted theft, with thieves targeting IT equipment, hence the emergence of security applications for smart security. Click here to download our BETT 2017 Show Report>>

About the author

Mike Fisher

About Us

Here at Futuresource Consulting we deliver specialist research and consulting services, providing market forecasts and intelligence reports. Since the 1980s we have supported a range of industry sectors, which has grown to include: CE, Broadcast, Entertainment Content, EdTech and many more.