Day 1, Wednesday January 13th...
Snow and ice overnight severely disrupt travel into and around London so the Bett Show gets off to a slower start than usual. Even so Open Source software has attracted plenty of interest especially from visitors from abroad.
What's going down for those that braved the travel (it took me 3 hours from Esher)?
In the Big Brother House (sorry Bett 2010) as one would expect, the big spenders are concentrating on proprietary software systems to track monitor and generally harass pupils as ICT continues its relentless push to turn schools into vast bureaucratic wastelands: few visitors seem that interested and are clutching their Cappuccinos as they look for what is up and coming.
What is interesting generally and evident already is that today's NOW is 'content rules' ok?
Content, that stuff hitherto so absent from ICT in education, is now in full charge at BETT. Mainstream publishers are getting a lot of attention, they are talking about electronic delivery of e-text books and seem very savvy about the open EPUB format...but also,
the VLE is back with a vengeance. Yep, teachers had all hoped it had died but no. Frog and Fronter who are hoping to be standing when the VLE music stops are going for broke and everyone seems to have heard of Moodle.
So, what is new in VLE world? This year two things:
1) The big shake out which of the 30 plus VLE's will survive? and
2) they might just have some content to play with at last!
The NDRB ( the amazing National Digital Resource Bank) are attracting a lot of attention precisely because they exist to deliver content to VLEs and with Sirius, are up for an award this evening for doing just that: fingers crossed and hoorah for the first national open source project, one which has successfully combined a public-private partnership.
On stand Q50, interest has been very wide ranging and pretty busy despite the snow.
Every thing from managed services to open source infrastructure to e-readers have attracted interest and, ... new this year have been many inquiries from Primary Schools looking to get into Open Source software.
Odds and Ends and Gossip
-Zdnet did an interview with us and Microsoft; that should prove an interesting contrast. We were very forthcoming.
-Ofsted (no less) are writing a report on Open Source in English and Norwegian Schools!?
-Malayisa (as in the whole country) seem to want to take NDRB content too.
-ParentMail (SMS to all) love PostGresSQL...,lookout for these folk they offer good value. (they like our engineers too)
Tomorrow will be much busier due to kinder weather forecasts.
Day 2 in Big Bett House..what will it bring?