BETT 2024 – some of our insights


Over the years I have been attending BETT I have always found it a useful radar of current trends in educational technology. So I gathered together some thoughts from across the team who attended around what they were seeing at BETT 2024. As you might expect Artificial Intelligence (AI) was everywhere this year, but I will leave that to my colleagues at the National centre for AI in tertiary education (NCAITE). So what else did we find…


This year it was hard to miss the presence of eSports at the event. The team looked at eSports a few years ago as we recognised that this was growing market. More recently we had a look at game based-learning  to explore the benefits and also how it is being used in education. Dominique Walker relates her experience  in this post on Bett 2024: The esports path to pro: From passion to profession

Well-being and digital

Emma Beatson suggests clear trends were a focus on wellbeing and mental health and the importance of meeting individual learner and accessibility requirements.

These themes underpinned conversation in many of the event sessions. This included those in the e-sports arena, where strategies to address athlete health were presented as crucial to learners, aspiring coaches and educators alike. In an Auditorium session discussing how HE can adapt to meet the needs of a changing workforce, the message voiced loudly was that supporting student mental health should be top of the priority list. And in The Arena on day 3, futurist Anya Kamenetz concluded that the most useful capacities that educators can encourage at an individual and organisational level are the ones that emerge from post-traumatic growth.

These topics were also the driving force behind many of the products being showcased – including a large variety of screening and assistive learning tools, a social-emotional learning platform connecting classrooms globally with the aim of building empathy, and monitoring and intervention software designed to identify and help students in crisis.

Jisc has explored using data in  Creating a learner’s digital passport to better wellbeing and highlights the need for “a coming together of policy, technology and leadership to explore and discover what is possible”.

Table Talks

New this year were TableTalks, designed to “empower educators to collaborate openly and connect deeply with like-minded individuals in the education space”. I signed up to join one around how leaders can inspire positive change in education. The talks were scheduled around breakfast or lunch, with a buffet available. There were at least 40 tables, I expected a table of 8-10 people. Other tables looked full, but we had 5 people only. However, between us we covered schools, colleges and universities, as well as perspectives from at least 3 countries.

So how can leaders inspire positive change? Good communication and a vision were seen as important requirements for any leader. Most of all empowering your team members to try new things and being there to support them, accept that sometimes things don’t work but there is always something to learn even from a bad experience.

If you get a chance to visit BETT next year I’d recommend signing up to one of the Table Talks, to meet people, get energised and also a free lunch.

Transparent Display Screen

One strategy I learned for BETT is to go around the outer edges of the hall where you can meet some of the smaller companies. This year I came across someone promoting transparent screens for presenting to an online audience. Our team looked at them during the pandemic for presenting mathematical type subjects that are traditionally written by hand. I’d already seen the emergence of transparent screens for entertainment, displays, creating holograms and also smartphones, highlighted here from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas CES 2024: With Transparent Displays From Samsung, LG, Are We Finally in the Future?  They could play a role in the future of digital education. I shall keep an eye out at future BETT shows.

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By Paul Bailey

Head of co-design, part of a research and development team

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