It's all over for another year. BETT 2010 was really successful for us on so many levels.
Of course the cold reality of the following weeks and months will tell what leads were really that 'hot' and what were not, but for now, in the cosy afterglow of the show, things look pretty good.
However, if we leave the commercial stuff to one side for a minute (I know, it's a trade show and hard nosed business types would snort at this) but we also met simply loads of great people who stopped by at our stand (as 400 brochures and almost as many copies of Ubuntu testify) to chat and tell us how it is in schools and edu-world generally.
Sadly we met few children at this year's show but any that ventured near met a sticky end in that the price for a lollypop was a free copy of Ubuntu and a 'talk' :). Also young teachers were thin on the ground. Maybe ICT is uncool?
However one of the stories we were told from more than one source was fascinating and worrying at the same time.
Basically, there are quite a few unsung Open Source heroes in schools. We don't get to hear about them because, frankly, they are jolly competent, very successful and self sufficient... and don't technically need us!
But, and here is the scary bit, they are worried about BSF coming to their area. Why worried, surely BSF will give them more money to be even better?. Well, no not necessarily. They fear that the very thing that set them apart (in terms of excellence), their self reliance, will disqualify them from getting BSF status and thereby thrust them into the hands of the outsourcers with the result that all they had worked for will be lost.
I don't know how this will pan out but as the UK's only Becta-OGC accredited supplier of Open Source software to UK schools I would like to use this platform to make a pledge, to whit:
If we can help you, in any way great or small to retain what you have achieved, give us a call; it will be our privilege...
...that's a promise.