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.
2. The New Media Consortium released its Scandinavian nations Horizon Report (pdf, wiki). I’m fascinated by both the commonalities with Europe and the rest of the world, and the differences.
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.
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