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Huge tablets, robots, 3D printers head to school (photos)

Huge touch screens, programmable robots, and 3D printers were the big themes at London's Bett show.

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Andrew Lanxon

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The Bett show in London is where the latest classroom technology is shown off. This year, huge touch screens, 3D printing, and programmable robots were the standout themes.
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This 65-inch touch-screen display has a whopping 4K resolution. Just imagine how highly defined your lessons will be.
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Like many big displays, this one has a stylus to make drawing diagrams -- or rude pictures when Teacher isn't looking -- easy as 1, 2, 3.
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The WordWall is pretty cool. It comes with a bunch of small tablets for the kids, allowing them to answer questions, like a game show, from their personal devices.
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Pupils will see the questions on screen and are able to send their answers to be displayed on the big screen at the front.
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The WizeFloor, meanwhile, is an interactive floor. It tracks your movements using an overhead Kinect sensor...
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... letting pupils stand on tiles to indicate the correct answer to a question.
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That's the Kinect up there.
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Dell was showing off an F1 car. I'm not sure what this brings to education.
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Its simulator was pretty cool, though.
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The Alpha touch screen has a 60-inch display and hooks up to your iPad, Android tablet, Windows 8 laptop, or MacBook.
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The top Alpha model is also able to run on Android. Perfect for playing Angry Birds on breaks between lessons.
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Most of these big displays are too cumbersome to be put on a wall, so they come with a stand. This one is mechanical and can be moved around or flipped over at the press of a button.
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At 60 inches, it's not really the sort of thing you'd want in your living room.
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Some of the tablets sold were built in to tables.
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This chap is built in to a sturdy case. Offering simple lessons and activities, it's designed for nursery-age children.
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There was a whole host of computers and laptops shown off from the likes of Lenovo...
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...Sony...
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Oh look, a Microsoft Surface.
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And here's HP's touch screen all-in-one.
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The folding Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga was given some love too.
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As was Sony's converting tablet.
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3D printers were a massive theme of the show.
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3D printing is being introduced into the UK's teaching curriculum, along with using CAD software to make elaborate shapes like this.
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The printers were churning out all manner of colorful objects.
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The Makerbot was the most recognized name in 3D printers, appearing on numerous stands.
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School fairs will soon be full of kids showing off their 3D printed masks.
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The Makerbot mini is more suited for smaller classrooms.
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Of course, laser scanners were present too.
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Pop an object in, scan it, and then print it out on a 3D printer.
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The 3Doodler is a 3D printing pen. Essentially, you squirt out melted plastic in layers to build up the product you want.
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You'll need a healthy supply of plastic to keep a whole classroom happy.
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If printing doesn't float your boat, why not use lasers to burn cool patterns onto things?
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Teachers: When you confiscate your students' iPods, why not do them the courtesy of charging them too?
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Synergy School Radio provides complete kits for schools to set up internal radios. The kits teach students how to operate broadcasting desks and software and provide tips on how to present.
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Why not set up a TV studio in your school?
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As well as lighting and autocue tools, kids will learn how to effectively use green-screen technology.
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They'll learn editing and how to use multicamera Tricasting software.
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If live video doesn't excite you, maybe some classic stop-frame animation will.
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Programmable robots were out in force this year.
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Lego had a whole array of scurrying little bots. They're made from standard Lego parts but can be programmed using simple software and motorized additions.
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K'Nex was getting in on the educational game too with programmable ferris wheels and moving robots.
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K'Nex hopes to teach coding to make machines work. It also aims to teach the mechanics of working with cogs and mathematics through calculating how much money you'd make charging for entrance on the rides you build.
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If you build a robot too intelligent, it's sure to rise to the role of headmaster. By force.
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For the more advanced students, Festo's packages hope to teach the principles of automated industry.
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The kits use pneumatics, as well as detailed coding, to make everything work. It's aimed at older students and university classes.
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Other kits are based around learning to build and maintain conveyor-belt-based production lines.
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Dance Dance Revolution had a huge stand. Reps were shouting why you should buy 30 or so mats for kids to use in P.E. class.
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How do you go about storing 30 iPads once the kids have gone home? This secure locker should do the trick.
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iPad-connected microscopes were on show too.
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If you plan to give iPads to kids, you'd better make sure there's a rubberized case around the tablet for when it inevitably gets dropped on the floor.
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Nokia was at the show; although, I'm not sure why. Nokia didn't really seem to know either, but it did say that the cheap Lumia 520 sells well to schools.
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Sony was here too, showing off the Xperia Z1 and its bluetooth-enabled smart lenses.
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This kit aims to teach kids how to design buildings that are resistant to earthquakes.
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This one has plant sensors that feed data back to your iPad.
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I have no idea what this costume is about.
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The Einstein platform comprises an Android tablet with UV, heat, and heart rate sensors built in.
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It links to up to 8 sensors (from a range of 60) that measure a variety of things, tracked on the Einstein tablet. Here, I saw what happens to marshmallows in space by de-pressurizing a jar -- the pressure readout was displayed on screen.
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The Raspberry Pi micro computer was on show too.
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You can get kits to build specific projects with the Raspberry Pi.

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