Bett 2015

Google powered VLE

Google Gunning for Moodle ?

Thursday found me at Betts with my organisations Learning Services Manager Rhys and one of our Learning Technologists Milan. I have to say that for the first time there were a wide range of real powerful systems and some well known players, the programming curriculum was well represented with a range of programming & robotic based systems…

  • Lego: not only with their technics range but full kits for literacy and numeracy with adaptable lesson plans to boot
  • Sphero: both globe and cylinder models @
  • Romo: This was fun, impre4ssive and they have really thought about their products @ 
  • Raspberry Pi kits

There was also a real push to move from tablets themselves and into the real world with 3D printing set-ups in abundance and augmented reality…

  • Green Screen by Do Ink app for the iPad
  • Augmented Reality leader Aurasma
  • relative newcomer Junaio
  • Samsung Gear VR powered by the Oculus Rift  – yes this was real, and seemingly around the £200 mark!

One of the key highlights was an invitation by Epson to see their developments of their short throw projectors that whilst already winners in a range of awards were still pushing boundaries with not only the ability to collaborate between projectors globally but with impressive upgraded software that has seen real leaps and bounds in recent months. I have first hand knowledge of this as my organisation were recently subject of a case study whereby we made recommendations to their software that I am glad they have implemented. These recommendations,  in part, came from our experience with SMARTs Notebook software which is well integrated in our organisation. Epson then pointed out they now had formed a partnership with SMART whereby they would be distributing their software as an option! wow, the best of both worlds.

More was to come from Epson in thier decision to enter the educational market with printers and not just any old printer range…

  • Pro inkjets at low cost (I did notice their entry at £150!)
  • as fast as laser printers
  • 80% less power consumption
  • Less heat output
  • no fans, no requirement to bee free from walls
  • less components
  • less carbon footprint
  • 50% cost savings in Total Cost of Ownership over a 3yr period
  • lockable compartments (loved this feature!)
  • and a high capacity bagged ink delivery system (I kid you not!)


Google were definitely gunning for Moodle, and although not matured and seemingly still a collection of apps, you cannot deny the appeal of a free, wide-spread option whereby most learners will be already familiar with a large amount of services. I would love to see that 5 year roadmap of Google Education!

A final mention should go to a great range of products by with the most impressive being the Pico Genie P50 Pro – an extremely small pocket sized LED projector that looked tiny and versatile.



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