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BETT has provided an invaluable opportunity for gathering information from educators, ICT policy makers and vendors, which will greatly assist with the integration of Information Technology in Cayman schools.

Hon. Alden McLaughlin, JP

Published 26th January 2007, 12:11pm

Honourable Alden McLaughlin, Minister of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports and Culture has returned to the Cayman Islands highly impressed by the recently concluded BETT tradeshow exhibition. BETT, the world's leading educational ICT event brings together more than 28,000 visitors annually, from the global teaching and learning community. Held over four days at London's Olympia, the event provides participants with access to the newest and most innovative educational products and services, showcased by more than 600 suppliers. Accompanied by Chief Officer, Mrs. Angela Martins, Gareth Long, Strategic Development Advisor and Steve Durksen, ICT Manager, the Ministry officials gained first-hand experience of the new "Tomorrow's Learners Today" feature, which was the focal point of this year's event and highlighted the Building Schools for the Future programme. Students from around the UK turned the tables on teachers and educational suppliers, asking questions and providing input as to what the future of education might look like. Among the world's leading experts who were on hand to explore and discuss questions such as: what will Tomorrow's Learners look like? What spaces will be needed for 21st century learning and what are the global trends, was professor Stephen Heppell, who delivered a presentation entitled Thoughts and issues from the Future Learning Environments. More than 700 educators, parents and other stakeholders in the Cayman Islands had an opportunity to meet Professor Heppell at the Ministry's Education Conference in December of last year, when he delivered an engaging presentation focussing on some of the more recent innovations which have helped transform the face of education around the globe. "BETT has provided an invaluable opportunity for gathering information from educators, ICT policy makers and vendors" stated the Honourable Minister "which will greatly assist with the integration of Information Technology in Cayman schools. "ICT will play an increasingly vital role in the delivery of education," he continued "which is why it forms an integral part of the new governance model which will come into effect later this year. Additionally, improved network performance and reliability will reduce down time, increase productivity and therefore have a positive impact on the overall process of learning." Whilst in the UK, the Cayman Islands delegation also attended Moving Young Minds, the World Ministerial Seminar on Technology in Education, hosted by the Rt. Hon. Margaret Beckett, MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Moving Young Minds was attended by representatives from sixty nations and included presentations from Ministers of Education from around the world, as well as private sector participants such as Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia.