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Content that speaks to students at Bett 2023

Content is the bread and butter of education; it’s the facts, figures, and theories that are passed on to students. Naturally, educational content is always changing. As society changes and history unfolds in real-time, educational content recontextualises and deepens – along with the delivery of said content. At Bett 2023, a clear shift in content was felt. With rapid digitalisation taking place in the last few years, a change of gears is unsurprising.  

As well as delivery changing focus to digital technologies, the content itself has taken a left turn into the field of esports. With themes like inclusion, gamification, and safeguarding dominating conversations around content, it’s encouraging to see education focus on engaging kids in content that resonates, while prioritising well-being and learning. 

The gamification of content 

While esports is unchartered territory for most schools, the gamification of education is nothing new. BBC Bitesize, the BCC’s free online educational resource for K-12 students, has long pioneered this approach. Bitesize offers games, podcasts, and practise exams for students. The organisation was present at Bett 2023, though its focus was conversely on BBC Teach, focusing on resources for educators rather than students. When you consider esports alongside more familiar learn-through-play methods, the focus on gaming content doesn’t seem too outlandish. 

While schools may accept esports content as beneficial, barriers to adoption remain. Research conducted by Futuresource found that most schools seek advice on which equipment to purchase for their esports offerings. Case studies on schools already offering esports featured highly in the content shown across the show’s three days. 

Using esports to transform a student’s hobby into a career was another key focus of esports content. There were speeches from several institutions that teach esports, highlighting the wide range of careers students can pursue, all the way from marketing to game engineering. A focus on esports is just one example of how educational content is shifting to focus more on innovation and particularly immersion. 

What’s immersive content’s place in education? 

The focus on immersive content is permeating countless industries. In education, the impact goes beyond just esports. VR and AR vendors were demonstrating the potential of the metaverse and by default, immersive content. Veative showcased a VR headset that is fully independent – battery operated with pre-downloaded content – that immerses students in subject-specific modules.  

Being exposed to this level of immersion can do wonders for learning. Through VR, students can gain experiential knowledge as opposed to purely theoretical. They can visit historic sites and landmarks – revolutionary for students from underprivileged backgrounds.  

But it’s not just VR that offers immersion. More familiar display technologies like projection are being explored for their immersive capabilities in education.  The interactivity of projection was a key focus at Bett, as the technology can map, blend and warp on 3D surfaces. This is particularly useful for schools, as there’s no risk of damaging the display itself. With hardware brands and software companies increasingly collaborating, there was no shortage of engaging, immersive content at Bett.  

Safeguarding digital content in schools 

Print will always have a place in the classroom, but so much content is now digital. The benefits of the internet in education are obvious: the vast and diverse amounts of information that are instantly accessible. But this also opens up a range of problems. Hacking, “fake news”, inappropriate and potentially unsafe content could all be just a few clicks away from unsuspecting students.  

Safeguarding was a prominent theme at Bett 2023. Safe alternatives to open search engines – as seen with Britannica Schools – give students the freedom to conduct research with exclusively verified content.  

ISTE’s 2023 conference is fast approaching, and the Futuresource team will be back to explore how education content is approached across the pond. We’ll be posting updates across our social media surrounding the event – but in the meantime, download a free copy of our Bett 2023 post-show report to discover the full scope of themes and offerings.  

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Olivia Lowden

About the author

Olivia Lowden

Olivia Lowden is responsible for the long-form content, press, and partnerships at Futuresource. Prior to her career at Futuresource, she completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, demonstrative of her lifelong love of words.

Melanie Tagg

About the author

Melanie Tagg

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