Top 9 technology solutions for your classroom – bett2020 finalists

Bett Finanlists- Top 9 classroom technologies

by Kabir M- KS3 student, Dubai

Kabir is an avid reader, a diligent student and the son of the founder of Browzly. He was motivated to review these best apps in education- the finalists of Bett2020 awards in the ‘Classroom aids for learning, teaching and assessment category’. These views are not necessarily those of Browzly Ltd, neither are they endorsed or influenced by Browzly. This blog was published as it was created with basic text editing to bring a student’s perspective on technologies recommended for classrooms.

The Education sector is rapidly changing and becoming increasingly reliant on modern technology. It’s no wonder that teachers and educators are constantly trying to find innovative yet effective ways to use mobile apps and other technologies to teach and manage their learners. As a student myself, from personal experience, I feel that this is an extremely difficult task because when it comes to technology, students may often be less engaged in learning itself and focus more on recreation. Luckily there are experts who are at hand to help shortlist the best & latest apps for classrooms and education. In this article, we meet 9 Edtech enterprises that have been hand-picked to be Bett 2020 finalists in the ‘Classroom aids for learning, teaching, and assessment’ category. Check out the shortlist, maybe they can provide you with some assistance in finding what works for your classroom? 

But first of all what is Bett? Bett is a leading industry show held annually in London that showcases the latest technological advancements in Education, bringing together 800+ leading companies, 100+ new Edtech startups and over 34,000 attendees from the global education community. Now that we know more about Bett let’s see these top 9 technology companies that have been selected as finalists (arranged in alphabetical order) in the classroom aids for learning, teaching and assessment category

1. Britannica Digital Learning – LumieLabs

Lumie Labs by Britannica Digital Learning provides a digital platform with a video editor and content library for students to capture, create, share and collaborate on their subject learning via videos, whilst teachers can still provide feedback when necessary. 

What do I like about it?

-Focuses on student learning with the engaging video format 

– Provides activity suggestions & encourages storytelling

Even better if

-There was a way to try it out through the website so I could see it myself.

2. Browzly by Browzly Ltd is a personalised reading for pleasure ed-tech platform that is proven to improve reading engagement amongst students aged 6-13. Students are connected in a social community with their school members to share, review (text or video), like, appreciate and talk about the books they read. Teachers can easily observe and assess reading, writing & presentation skills, engage parents and create interesting home and class activities to share with their class. Based on the reader-age and reported difficulty level of the books marked read, the software provides a personalised list of recommended books for every child to discover titles that may be interesting and challenging for them, taking out the need to constantly test the child to establish their reading levels.    

What do I like about it?

-I like that Browzly connects friends in a social community to support independent reading, this is very innovative. I like finding out what my friends are reading and also the video review feature that helps creative reflection on the books students read. I especially like making video reviews and seeing those by the other readers. 

Even better if 

-There was easy sign up directly from the app, right now you need to be added by Browzly or by your school.

3. Edukey Education – Class Charts

An AI-based solution that helps teachers create & optimize seating plans based on student behaviours. It tracks and assesses both negative and positive behaviours of students, using a points-based system, to reduce disruption. As parents can also be invited and are able to also view their child’s behaviour, students are encouraged to be the best they can be. 

What do I like about it?

Class charts is used in my school and I like it’s easy to use interface. It is innovative & insightful for parents and teachers

Even better if?

-Negative behaviours were not shared publicly, we know that positive reinforcement can do wonders for anyone but publicly losing points can be depressing for the children who feel singled out. 

– I also worry about any negative incidence happening by chance, will it give me a big negative point that will get me into trouble.

4. Fiction Express- Boolino

 Fiction Express provides weekly stories written by their authors, for children to read, vote, take quizzes, do activities and chat with the authors. Once children read the week’s story, they vote on how the plot should shape next- giving authors cues to take the story forward, to keep the stories engaging. 

What do I like about it?

-It has very nice and easy to use interface

-The interactivity and influence of the students in shaping the story plots

Even better if

-The number of books was increased to give a wider reading selection to students, who are keen to indulge in a wide variety of genres. Also maybe there could be more popular authors coming sometimes. 

 5. Hope Education – E.a.R.L Coding Robot

E.a.R.L is a floor robot equipped with lights, sounds and a transparent body for KS1 students to start coding and programming. Students can create and debug simple programmes compatible with Scratch. 

What do I like about it?

-The transparent design allows students to see the  hardware inside the Robot

-It looks like a board game- possibly very engaging for young learners. 

Even better if?

-It looks great for KS1 students, however, older children, like me, may want to have a more advanced version to use.

6. Learning by Questions – Learning by Question  

LbQ is a web-based app that provides curriculum-aligned Question Sets for English, Maths & Science for students from Yr 1 through Yr 11. Arranged by topic, learning objectives and year group, the questions are in multiple-choice format and provide immediate feedback to the students to support & complement the teachers. LbQ was a finalist in Bett 2018, winner of the innovator award in 2019

What do I like about it?

-On first glance, LbQ looks very comprehensive 

-The website allows you to go through sample questions to understand the format

-It offers affordable sign-up options

Even better if?

If the screens were less crowded, they had lesser text to help capture user focus more easily.

-The UI was made more enjoyable and perceptive for students to be engaged

7. Satchel – Satchel One

Reported to be used by over 1600 schools in the UK, Satchel one is an established ed-tech brand offering an all in one platform with 6 different apps to choose from on the menu, one each, to manage homework, attendance, seating, timetables, behaviour and content. Demos for each of the tools can be arranged through the website and someone from the Satchel team promises to get back to you within 1 day.

What do I like about it? 

The images on the website provide an easy to use interface for all 6 apps with built-in analytics

– It takes care of the essential administrative workload a form tutor/ class teacher has to contend with

Even better if

-There were more insights into why Satchel one is better than other software offering the same solutions i.e. behaviour management, timetables, content, seating etc.  

8. Net support – Really School

Reallyschool automates the tedious and manual capturing and tracking of classwork of students in early years and primary school. Using an ipad, teachers can take pictures and add text or voice notes to record their observation whilst in the classroom. Parents can also be added to see and feedback to their students. It can be accessed through the app as well as the website that looks quite clean and easy to understand. Some of the features include: Recording assessment scores and percentages, Recording evidence of work (pictures, video, digital media), identifying child-initiated and adult assisted activities, adding notes and comments to submitted work. 

What do I like about it?

All in all Really School looks effective in making everyday tedious jobs for a teacher quick and less paper consuming.

Even Better If 

Students could also be connected to see positive comments from their teachers and parents.

9. Texthelp – WriQ

WriQ is an extension for Google Docs that automatically grades papers digitally so that teachers can save time by not having to manually read and assess them. WriQ is available across many platforms – ioS, android, chrome and window for individual, class and district licenses. 

What do I like about it?

It provides a simple single-minded solution that assesses digitally written papers

Effective and useful for teachers who may teach more than one class at a time, it allows the teacher to devote more time and effort into the actual content of the lesson rather than a homework Essay.

Even better if

The technology would help in the assessment of handwritten texts. The ability to write by hand is an important skill that students need to build from primary through secondary years so assessment of only digital texts is unlikely to reduce teacher workload, However, it may not be necessary to practice handwriting in later education.

– There was some motivation to improve your work. I believe as a student myself that it is crucial that your teachers read and appreciate your work, it is an important part of students’ motivation to produce better quality writing. Removing teacher assessment totally from subjective texts, I think, is not very advisable, whilst there is a need to reduce teacher workload, this goes a bit too far in my opinion.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I must say, I enjoyed learning so much about the future of classrooms and I am looking forward to seeing how these top technologies will make my lessons more interesting. It doesn’t matter who will be the final winner – all of these shortlisted best 9 educational mobile apps and technologies address different aspects of learning, teaching, and assessment in the classroom and therefore they all have the ability to make an impact when implemented, as every classroom is unique the same can be said for every student

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