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Education News

Musings on BETT from the Entec Team

Musings on BETT from the Entec Team

BETT, Europe’s largest IT exhibition specifically for education, was held at the end of January at London ExCel in the Docklands, its venue for the last eight years.

Some of our Sales and Marketing Team recently ventured out of the office (yes, we do let them out occasionally) and headed to BETT 2020. The event is huge and attracts more and more global visitors each year, as well as thousands of UK teachers and students. 34,000 attendees in total visited this year!

Our team met with many interesting vendors and there’s more about a couple of them here. If any of these are of interest to you or you would like further information about discounts available, please click on the links.

We’ve been visiting or attending since it was held at Olympia before it outgrew the old west London venue, including on one occasion, in the early days of Microsoft in Education, Entec helped on their stand and we handed out 12,000 sticks of rock with Entec running through them! The modern equivalent would now need to be ecologically sourced fruit or re-useable water bottles from recycled plastic.

If you went this year did you find the new arrangement - two thirds of both the north and south exhibition halls - a little overwhelming? Do you now need two days to visit properly? When wending your way around there always seem to be prominent themes or particular types of equipment dominating the exhibition space – or maybe that just us? There was still a sizeable amount of exhibition space devoted to smart screens and large format displays. Since exhibition space at BETT costs an eye watering amount the vendors are obviously still selling lots and making good profits.

Overseas exhibitors had even more presence than last year and they came from all round the world with Korea, China and Australia, to name just a few, taking large amounts of space.

A diverse range of physical bits of kit to be used in connection with STEM were scattered liberally throughout the exhibition (including Mayku's FormBox desktop vacuum former), many appearing on other stands including Microsoft’s. Small robots for use in primary education could be found running around all over the place. Primo’s Cubetto is a really well thought through example and well reported in the independent Hello World magazine.

During our day we met with ABBYY who, although not exhibiting, were launching a FineReader site license for schools and universities. FineReader is a product widely adopted by SEN departments and is a serious alternative to Adobe’s Acrobat.

If you went to BETT did you find lots of groups of pupils visiting this year? Maybe it was just the day we attended (Thursday) but it’s as though the exhibition has now become a place to visit as a schooltrip. Next year’s BETT is shorter, at three days, Wednesday 20 to Friday 22 January if you’ve got your 2021 diaries handy. See you there!

(Photos courtesy of TheRecord & Hyve)

Created On  6 Feb 2020 18:37 in Education News  -  Permalink
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Primo Toys Cubetto

Cubetto is described by Primo Toys as ascreenless coding toy for children aged 3 to 6 years. We decided to investigate its appeal and dig a bit deeper into the claims and case studies in recent publications such as the independent Hello World magazine.

It is aesthetically appealing and is a nice solid piece of kit to put into the hands of any child from 3 years upwards. Children can begin to code by using the solid wooden pieces in the control board and can move the robot around a story board or map.

We met with Giorgia Migliaresi, Head of Education at Primo Toys and she was quick to point out the wealth of Educator resources that are available with the Cubetto, these include; case studies, lesson plans and a community forum and have been well received around the world.

One article which has particularly resonated is a study which was carried out by Hello World and published in Issue 5 of the magazine (see the full article here). Tangible Programming in EYFS and KS1 – this article compares the use of Cubetto and Bee Bots and draws some very interesting conclusions.

There are some promotional bundles available for purchase – these can be accessed here! Or, for further information about the resources available, please contact [email protected] or call us on 01462499599 or click here.



Created On  5 Feb 2020 15:52 in Education News  -  Permalink
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Mayku

First thoughts on seeing Mayku’s vacuum forming machine was that it was really well designed, with great attention to detail (that came from my engineering background), followed by thinking what a brilliant piece of equipment for making and selling chocolates, candles or soaps and generating income for the school whilst engaging the students in STEM (that was probably from my PTA involvement).

On the bottom of the FormBox is a suction bed on which an object is placed and a plastic sheet is placed into the trays and lifted up to the heater at the top which warms softens it. A vacuum cleaner, plugged into the back of the machine is automatically triggered when the trays are brought down and this removes all the air from around the object hugging the sheet around the form whilst it hardens - almost instantly.  After the sheet it is removed from the object it can be used as an object in itself or as a mold to cast many different materials.

The Team behind Mayku have put a lot of time and effort into developing the product. Although best seen live this video gives a flavour of what it is and does: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32PJqaR_8iE&t=6s

Designed with education in mind it’s caught the interest of schools who have encountered it. It’s also, I learnt from Adam and Ben when I met them at their office, come to the attention of a diverse range of industry and commerce and been purchased by (no surprise) chocolatiers and soapmakers as well as engineering and one of the top Formula One teams.

For education Mayku have put a lot of effort into providing lesson plans that can be easily fitted into the curriculum. Early adopters are being offered full lifetime access to these and with a plan to make this a subscription service later.

For secondary schools and FE Colleges Mayku offer  a free STEM Pack and other guides.  The STEM Pack includes five curriculum packs complete with 13 lesson plans for use with the Mayku FormBox.

Lesson plans have been put together by experienced design & technology teachers and includes step by step guides with images, downloads and links. Designed for students aged 11-14 and above with a focus on teaching STEM subjects through design and practical work in theclassroom and easy for a teacher to pick up and use without prior familiarity with the machine. Mayku STEM Pack PDF.

The Mayku can mould a variety of materials and the Team have successfully re-used supermarket plastic carrier bags. Spot on for being topical. Great school project. Ironing together a number to produce a thicker piece of plastic they then moulded a face mask. 

For the range please head to our online shop or call Entec on 01462 499599 or email [email protected]

Created On  4 Feb 2020 16:23 in Education News  -  Permalink
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