M C Squared @ BETT 2016 - inspiring conferences and conversations!

During 4 days from 20th to 23rd January 2016, the MC2 project was presented at London BETT 2016, an event renowned for showcasing world class educational technology products, resources and innovations.

Our project was showcased in parallel at two stands in the London Excel Center, Stand A450 (London Knowledge Lab -LKL) and Stand TB8 (UU / Numwork).  Two main productions were give special attention technically to reach the highest possible level of demonstrability for this show at this time, the “Climate change” c-book presented by Prof. Daskolia and the “Curves in space” c-book presented by Prof. Kynigos. Both c-books were presented in both the aforementioned booths. They were installed in special tabs on the exhibition PCs from the start, supported by the local booth presenters, Prof. Mavrikis (LKL) and Dr. Boon (UU) and by the Pedagogical presenters from CTI.

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 Interesting comments and feedback were received as a result of discussions with the visiting public, mainly addressing the task to progress from having a research-level of readiness to an industrial level, such as for instance the need to improve and re-skin the look and feel of the player and the editor. We also got many positive remarks for the conception of this technology and the challenging potential of meshing text with widget diversity and particularly positive comments about the CoiCode communication tool and its affordances for collaborative design, focus on social creativity and research data collection. Our visitors particularly drew positive attention to our interdisciplinary approach to mathematics education and the functionality of the c-book to attract students' interest for mathematical thinking.  The two booths had different complementary focus, UU focusing on the technology (potential integration with other systems including LMS and widgets), LKL focusing on the ‘users’, i.e. teachers, designers and developers. In particular, the LKL stand that was staffed by MC2 researchers additionally on Saturday Jan 23rd, a day when more teachers attended the event, expanded its Community of Interest from London-based mathematics teachers that attended the event. Finally, several meetings were arranged with head teachers that expressed interest in using the MC2 platform.

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Among other smaller opportunities explored, Dr Mavrikis and Dr Boon met with the content manager of the London Grid for Learning (LGfL, http://www.lgfl.net/Pages/default.aspx) that provides high quality resources to 16,500 schools across the UK through its National Education Network. The partners represented MC2 and discussed potential collaborations and integration of the learning analytics components on LGfL resources and/or including specific c-books through the Shiboleth IP authentication protocol that LGfL supports. This will be explored further in the course of the project.

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