MirandaNet Newsletter No 27, 14th January, 2018
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Hello MirandaNetters,  

Just a short news bulletin to tell you all what is happening at BETT18 this year where I hope we can meet: it will be a great chance to catch up. MirandaNet will be sharing a stand, B216, with Think-IT, ITTE and Naace.

However, please get in touch with me beforehand to fix a time to meet as this stand will not be staffed all the time. In addition, you will find me on Wednesday 24th at the opening speech by the new UK Secretary of State, Damian Hinds; if he has had time to prepare! He was only appointed on 8th January!  

On Thursday 25th you will find me speaking in the Smart Suite at the Thought Leadership event on Technology: Teacher Training hosted by our MirandaNet Council member, Doug Brown.  Register here. There is also an international TeachMeet 6-9pm, Post 16 theatre.

On Friday 26th January I will be on the stand from 1100 -1200am and some of our members will be at the TeachMeet 6-9pm in the post-16 theatre. I also plan to attend on Saturday 27th January so let me know if you will also be there to share a coffee! You can use my mobile number of course, but there are often mobile signal problems in the Excel building.

More detailed news about BETT18 below and our ITTE/ MirandaNet conference, Raising aspirations for digital education,  that will be on June 7th & 8th in Winchester University  

Happy New Year  
Professor Christina Preston  
MirandaNet Founder, ITTE chair, Naace Director
07 801 336 048
EVENTS: BETT Show 2018

MirandaNet at BETT

“Bett is the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape, bringing together 850 leading companies, 103 exciting new edtech start ups and over 34,700 attendees (131 countries represented) from the global education community, that come together to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education, as well as the role technology and innovation plays in enabling all educators and learners to thrive.”

Come and see us on stand B216  together with Naace and ITTE,  sponsored by Think-IT who have provided us  both with a space on their stand. Their aim is to make IT easy to understand: Educational IT is constantly changing and is confusing for many schools. They try to make it easy for schools to work out what they want and need & how to procure it.

Concierge Service
Ever been to BETT and left feeling exhausted? It can be easy to spend all your time fending off unwanted salesman that you don't actually achieve what you came to find out.  We have the solution. As a framework, Think IT is your independent guide to BETT 2018. Our only interest is to find you the best solutions to meet the outcomes you want. Just tell us what you're looking to achieve in teaching and learning and we will take you to meet exhibitors that will best meet your needs.   We can help you build your ICT strategy and make your visit to BETT 2018 worthwhile! Call at stand B216

Google Stand Thursday - 25th Jan – 12 to 1pm
LA briefing for up to 6 people on Google Classroom Technologies – hosted by Jem (education manager) Think IT Stand B216 Thursday 25th 2pm Independent Schools Council GDPR research project update.

SMART Thought Leadership event on Technology and Teacher Training Thursday 25th at BETT18 at 1300  Christina Preston will be sharing the leading of the discussion with other experts in this field. This should be very interesting for those in your group who speak English. It is not a seminar but a discussion in which experts mingle with the audience in order to debate the issues effectively. Our French colleagues would be welcome to raise their own questions. You can send them beforehand if you wish. They will also be useful for us for Thursday am. The issues that have been tabled so far are:

  • Given the future for students will be heavily reliant on technology - both for work and for being an active citizen, are we preparing our teachers well enough to use the technology and act as role models? 
  • The UK’s IT industry is currently suffering a skills gap and says it will need one million tech workers by 2020, but employers claim they cannot find people with the skills they need. What should we do?
  • Should any teacher be allowed Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) if they cannot pass a use of technology test? Should the inspection service, Ofsted, increase their criteria of a good ITT establishment to include more about the use of, and training in, the pedagogical uses of - technology
  • Should the Government instigate a new national training programme like from 1999-2014 to update teachers - OR perhaps more importantly teacher trainers?  

The TES believe we are heading for a recruitment crisis simply because of the number of teachers who will shortly be retiring. This will mean there will be thousands of teachers needed in training. Can the current models of teacher training work or do we need to think differently?  
Professor Christina Preston

SMART Sponsored event Friday 26th - 9.45 to 10.45 – Pavilion Suite
Title: What is intelligent procurement & how will it make any difference?
Focus: LA’s & Trading services (IT Directors / Managers) MATS’s – IT Directors, CEO’s, Finance Managers Purpose: An opportunity to hear from existing framework users to learn about the benefits of the Think IT framework, and how you can gain revenue and increased customer reach from intelligent procurement.

Opportunity to visit the promethean Stand (B98) and enjoy a private VIP tour of their Pavilion suite glimpse into the future as seen by DragonNet (Parent Co) inc: Immersive, Artificial Intelligence & Augmented Reality, technologies. By appointment only  

Talk to a Microsoft expert
Think IT are in the expert area on the Microsoft stand throughout BETT, and would be happy to answer any questions about the forthcoming licensing changes to licences and pricing. We’ll also be able to introduce you to various product specialist and experts, and well as arrange one to demonstrations.


Just2easy will be showing the two latest additions to their award winning Toolsuite. Firstly "Spell blast" adds to their popular games based learning tools with the choice of pre-defined word lists or the ability for teacher to create a bespoke word list for the class. Words, and sentences that put them in context, are spoken out loud by the software. The second addition is j2office. This is an exciting set of Office like tools designed for education and consist of a word processor, a spreadsheet and a presentation tool. All of the tools fully integrate into the Just2easy Toolsuite to allow for easy sharing, and assessment.

BETT News from BESA

BESA  suggest readers check out the Bett Futures companies exhibiting at Bett 2018 by following their blogs which are published on BESA’s website throughout January. BESA will run the Information Point at Bett so don’t hesitate to stop by and say hello or cry for help, they’ll be on stand B134.

BESA also think that readers might be interest in checking out the following; Scribeasy’s work on unlocking creativity, Vocal Recall’s app using a QR code to record audio feedback, Home4Schools’s positive homepage, the latest 3D printer from CEL Robox, and much more. 

The Education Resources Awards are also right around the corner, and the deadline for entry is 5 February so make sure you don’t miss them. Find out more here.


Concerns about Teach First
Just in case you haven't come across it, our MirandaNet colleague, Professor Marilyn Leask has recently had a letter published in the Guardian expressing concerning the value of Teach First Marilyn writes:
"Those who think anyone can teach with no training should skim the indexes of textbooks used for teacher training. There are about a thousand generic basic concepts underpinning teaching"

Barcelona chooses Linux and OSS over Microsoft
It's FOSS links to a report in Le Pais, that the City of Barcelona is in the process of migrating its computer system to Open Source technologies. 

New Rules for Social Media giants in Germany
The WJS reports that Since Jan. 1, technology companies  in Germany face fines of up to €50 million (£4 million) if they fail to delete illegal content on their platforms, including slander and libel, neo-Nazi propaganda, racist and terrorist related content. The law applies to most social-media networks in Germany including Google, Facebook and Twitter. The Times notes that' "Lawyers and terrorism experts have praised Germany for taking the lead in holding social media companies to account for extremist content."

Primary schools are being asked to trial lessons in identifying ‘fake news’
Funded by Google, the News Wise programme aims  add “news literacy” to the school curriculum. beginning with pilots to teach children in years five and six how to access, navigate, analyse and participate in the news. Source SchoolsWeek
Dazzle Ships

This is not camouflage in the usual sense, to make an object invisible against a background, but using a geometric pattern painted on ships to obscure its size and type, and make its direction and speed of travel invisible to an enemy.  See some more examples at the Public Domain Review


Transforming Education through technology: Vision vs Reality
AARE logoGovernment advisors emphasise the importance of digital technology’s “transformative potential” for learning; top private schools splash advertisements of children with expensive robots across newspapers; and tech companies pitch their latest product to the market “to turn lessons into enriching learning experiences”. The vision is clear: digital technology will transform education. But look into the average school around Australia and what really is happening? Read the report here

Life in Likes
Life in Likes coverLife in Likes is a new report from the Children’s Commissioner’s  on the effects of social media on 8-to-12-year-olds. It examines the way children use social media and its effects on their wellbeing. ‘Life in Likes’ fills a gap in research showing how younger children use platforms which social media companies say are not designed for them. Whilst most social media sites have an official age limit of 13 years, some research has suggested ¾ of 10-to-12 year olds have a social media account. Download the report here

Predicting the future
Although the concept of driverless cars is now well and truly established.  Some are already operating on our roads using a gamut of sensory technologies, including; radar, GPS, machine learning. A Wikipedia entry notes 'experiments have been conducted on automating driving since at least the 1920s source.  This example is from the UK Road Research Laboratory in 1971.

Thread Reader

When you use Twitter, you will undoubtedly come across threaded tweets. Depending on which Twitter app you use, this may be difficult to follow. Thread Reader helps you 'unroll' a full Twitter thread and see it displayed on a well designed web page which makes the story easy to. It works especially well if there are pictures in the story. Here's an example from a teacher's story of a school trip to Berlin.

Comparing Apple and Google Maps

If you you use digital maps regularly for travelling, research or in your teaching curriculum you might be interested in this detailed illustrated comparison of Apple and Google maps. The article covers much more than just the look of the maps and discusses satellite v. street car technology, UX design, AI, and computer vision.

We are always keen to review books, videos, blogs or podcasts by members. Let us know if you have anything in progress. We would also like to extend our panel of reviewers. Please get in touch with me if you would like to be a reviewer:

Catch up on our previous book reviews are here


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