Johnny Ball at Bett: Apps could revolutionise teaching

TV personality and education technology enthusiast Johnny Ball has called for manufacturers to produce more apps suitable for classroom teaching.

Ball was speaking at the Bett expo in London, where he joined the Stone Computers stand for its education hackathon. Over 50 developers, coders and app builders joined the action in what Stone claims was the largest hackathon for education ever attempted, and a first of its kind at Bett.

And Ball, who later tweeted that “The Hackers were fabulous,” said encouraging programmers to design more applications for educational purposes was crucial to keep teaching practices moving forward and children engaged at school.

“Now that communications technology is so rooted in education, it’s essential that we use it to our best advantage, he said. "When I wrote my TV programmes, every maths or science topic I included was presented in items around one to three minutes long. Today everybody’s going mad about apps, and they can be designed and presented for teachers in the same accessible, easy way.

“I’m asking that developers, hardware providers to schools and educational software makers focus on producing short, concise apps which cover every aspect of maths and science," Ball continued. "Their popularity would be governed by the number of hits teachers gave them. We really could empower every teacher in the country to be a better teacher.”

With a host of tech giants present at the ExCel Centre for Bett 2013, ITProPortal caught up with Microsoft to discuss its own educational projects and the state of tech education in the UK as a whole.