I’m participating in the 2015 BETT conference, or “show”, as the organizers call it. Here are some observations noted on the fly.
1. Jimbo Wales, Wikipedia’s leader, offered a fascinating and important observation. I didn’t transcribe it word for word, but here’s the gist. Formal education is not growing, but is stable; informal education is growing like mad. Obviously Wales is an interested party, not least because of formal education’s longstanding and often ill-thought-out opposition to Wikipedia. But if he’s right, that’s a major big-picture observation for 2015.
3. My first presentation outlined four scenarios for the future of higher education. It was fun casting the US-centered ones in the European/global context. Readers will probably be familiar with some of these, but this is the first time I’ve Webbed up this particular quartet: Fall of the Silos, Health Care Nation, Peak Higher Education, and Renaissance.
4. The vendor hall at BETT is enormous, a vast chamber of exhibits. There were far too many for me to annotate individually (at least while my battery and WiFi are low), but I can note some themes which predominated: robotics, STEM (far more than humanities), an emphasis on primary and secondary education, hardware and networking providers. A very multinational crowd, too – offhand, I saw vendors and presenters from Russia, Korea, China, the Middle East, southeast Asia, Scandinavia.
More as I get the chance to share.