Tag Archives: Texthelp

Spring Time at Barry Bennett

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Spring time with Barry Bennett

By Carolyn Lowry

spring

Here at Texthelp, the DSA team kicked off the spring season as proud sponsors of the annual Barry Bennett Spring Workshops held in Reading and Bolton. This was my first year attending one of these workshops and it was a fantastic experience that I certainly look forward to repeating.

From October 2013 the team at Barry Bennett dedicated their time and made huge efforts to make their 2014 Workshops the best year ever – and they certainly succeeded.

This year’s workshops ran differently than previous years. 16 suppliers within the DSA market held short presentations as well as workshops where attendees could have hands on experience with their hardware and software. There was a great buzz generated by the workshops and presentations held by the suppliers. One attendee said, “This has been my first time at a Barry Bennett training event and I have been very impressed by the quality of the speakers.”

In attendance at both events was our DSA manager Jonathan Walker who delivered some informative workshops on our award winning literacy support software, Read&Write Gold. For delegates who came along to his workshops there was also the opportunity to enter our fantastic competition to win a trip for 2 to Paris worth up to £1000.

winnerJodie Parkes an Independent Assistive Technology Specialist, was our lucky winner from the Reading workshops and Julie Davies, a SpLD Advisor at Edge Hill University was our lucky winner from the Bolton workshops. Both winners were absolutely thrilled with their prizes!

When Julie was informed that she had won the £1000 trip to Paris she said, ‘’When I attended the Barry Bennett Conference in Bolton, I never dreamt of winning such a fantastic prize – a holiday to Paris! Having enjoyed the conference and workshops, it was such a surprise to be drawn as the winner of the Texthelp competition to Paris, and I would like to thank Texthelp for such a wonderful prize.’’

Paris

We would like to say a massive thank you to all the staff at Barry Bennett for all the hard work and dedication that went in to organising two fantastic and very successful events.

We also hope Jodie and Julie have an amazing time in Paris. Send us a postcard guys!

Paris Postcard

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Bumping into Bob Geldoff, spotting Michael Gove and visiting one of the 700 exhibition stands – just some of the highlights from a visit to the ExCel London, where this year’s BETT show celebrated its 30th anniversary.

By Jenny Laird @Texthelp

2014 marked my second visit to the  BETT show, the world’s leading event for learning technology.  To celebrate the show’s 30th anniversary, this year’s BETT was bigger than ever before with visitor footfall up by 6% on 2013, to a massive 46,508.

Having previously visited the show in 2012 at the London Olympia I was initially shocked by the sheer size of the show at the ExCel.  The exhibitor stands were huge, hi-tech, artistic structures each competing with the next for delegate’s attention.

BETT 2014 had over 700 exhibitors coming together to showcase their latest products and discuss key topics in the education technology sector.  Top of this year’s agenda was the impending computing curriculum.

Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove opened the show on Wednesday.  In his keynote speech he said the curriculum, which will be taught in UK primary schools from September this year, was built “from the bottom up” by academics because government departments would not be able to keep up with the rapid pace of technology.

The Texthelp exhibition stand was located in the Special Needs zone.  We received lots of attention because of our creative stand design, with some delegates even taking photos of the beautiful butterfly on our stand! BETT Stand

We met lots of visitors from Schools, Colleges and Universities but were surprised by the large increase in enquiries from International students and organisations.

Dominic Savage, Director General of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) mentioned that BETT’s growing international presence played an important part at this year’s show. “The show aims to be reflective of the global move of education technology.  Inviting the international companies along gives them and the UK-based firms a chance to talk all things industry.”

Google

On a trip around other exhibitors’ stands at lunch time we noticed the exhibition stands of some big players in the technology market, including Google, who had a fabulous stand with lots of visitors chatting and checking out their wares.

We also bumped into Sir Bob Geldoff who was taking great interest in the tour he was being given around the many exhibitors stands at the show; and Laura and I made friends with some cuddly mascots.

Jen & Laura

The BETT Awards

Entries to this year’s BETT Awards were up by a quarter on last year.  Texthelp’s Angeline Kelly, Caroline Cuddy and CEO Mark McCusker attended on behalf of Texthelp as we were shortlisted as as a finalist in the Exporter of the Year category. Although we didn’t go on to win the award, a great night was had by all.

Bett 2014 Finalist logo

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