BETT14 conference support team

University students keep the BETT14 MirandaNet lounge running smoothly.

In January 2014, Sanaa Nusrat, University of East London, was one of the students who volunteered to join the support team who ran the MirandaNet Fellowship Lounge at BETT14 in East London’s Excel Centre. Members of MirandaNet had been asked to recommend students who would benefit from the placement. The eight students who were selected came from the  Universities of Bedfordshire, East London, Newman and Roehampton. They were nearly all studying the use of digital technologies to enhancing teaching and learning. In their spare time they were encouraged to make contacts with the companies represented there in order to improve their networks and job prospects.

Dr Preston who is Professor of Education Innovation at Bedfordshire University said she was exceptionally pleased with the quality of the students who volunteered for the BETT14 placement. “I realised how busy I was during this four days as I had no lunch expenses to process: I had completely forgotten to eat! However I had no worries about the smooth running of the MirandaNet Lounge and the Yellow Dot stand as the students were running adapting the rota to cope with unexpected changes, anticipating what needed to be done, responding to challenges and most of all making the visitors to the lounge feel welcome. They collaborated well, their timekeeping was good and what was most important, they always had a smile on their face”.

In 1992, before these students were born, Dr Preston founded the MirandaNet Fellowship, a professional organisation of teachers and teacher educators who are sharing their expertise in developing the role of digital technologies in education in schools and teacher education. The students who were invited to join MirandaNet were asked to research the activities of MirandaNet before they arrived and also to find out about Yellow Dot a MirandaNet Associate company because the student rota also included time at the stand in the main hall encouraging teachers to stop and view the Mathsland adventure game.

During the four days, the students represented their universities well in fulfilling their duties that included greeting visitors to the lounge, making them comfortable and answering questions as well as filing business cards on a laptop, noting down messages for the MirandaNet team and for the MirandaNet associate companies who were in the lounge as well. The students helped with the running of the seminars that were being held as well as improving on the signage to the lounge, handing out leaflets, recording names with a LightPen and keeping the coffee area neat and tidy and replenishing supplies. The students also helped to strike the stand on the Saturday afternoon.

Lauren Maidman, University of Roehampton, showed her ability as a team leader by setting up the rota, liaising with the students during the show and overseeing the payment of expenses. Since the show ended Sanaa Nusrat has collated the information for the articles and testimonials the founder of the MirandaNet Fellowship, Dr Christina Preston, has written up about the student experience.

Leanne Miller, University of Bedfordshire, showed courage when she went to see the BETT14 organisers on the first day of the exhibition and to let them know that because of poor signage people were being sent to the wrong seminar room. After her efforts the visitor numbers improved significantly. Her enthusiasm for the placement was evident, “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the BETT exhibition and conference.  It was great to see some fantastic and innovative technologies that can be adopted by schools.  Once I qualify as a teacher it is certainly a conference I would want to visit again. In addition I have learnt that there is a vast amount about education that I am completely unaware of and it excites me to think that there is still so much more to learn, not just through by degree and university work, but also throughout my career as a future teacher.”

MirandaNet will be keen to see the students who are listed here back at the exhibition next year.

Annabelle Blackburn


I am a second year BA(Hons) Education Studies student at the University Bedfordshire, with a keen interest in completing a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) in the primary school field, with relation to Special Educational Needs. I am currently taking a unit within my course looking at children in the digital age. I have found this interesting and have an interest in new technologies that are being used not only in the classroom but also within society as a whole. In my spare time I complete volunteering within Girlguiding as well as a local disabled children’s club.

Sabrina Mahmood

IMG_20490667736979The BETT14 placement is a chance to update my skills because in the computing world, technology is rapidly is changing. As soon as teachers and schools become proficient in a tool or software, a new one is released. I am naturally interested in computing and actively keep up to date with developments. Recently, I introduced the Raspberry Pi to my classes and incorporated this into the lesson topic of how we can use programming in everyday life. The students were extremely motivated by the technology and became excited by the endless of possibilities, such as using the Raspberry PI to browse the internet on a TV.

In 2013, I was chosen for a British Computer Society (BCS) scholarship to train to become one of the very best Computer Science trainee teachers in England. The rigorous application process involved teaching a class of unknown secondary school students as well as a lengthy interview with one of the industry partners, Microsoft. Having been successful, I chose Newman University to begin my PGCE in Computer Science and ICT, and successfully completed a 9-week placement at a secondary school in Coventry where I thoroughly enjoyed developing students as outstanding learners in computer science and ICT. During this placement, I taught Key Stages 3 and 4 and worked with mixed ability classes, and as the school was taking a lead in introducing computer science into the curriculum, it was a great opportunity for me to develop my understanding of the secondary curriculum and advance my teaching practises. My philosophy during this placement was based around creating effective learning environments, in which students could excel in every way possible and that every student could push him or herself to reach their learning goals.

Lauren Maidman


My name is Lauren Maidman and I am currently in my second year at the University of Roehampton. I am currently studying BA Primary Education with ICT as my chosen specialism. I have been working within retail for 4 years; through doing this it has given me an insight into customer care and service. I was working with a small team in which I primarily helping with customers and meeting their needs. Whilst at University I have also been working as part of a large team at Twickenham Stadium. Whilst working at the stadium I have learnt new skills within health and safety, adapting to the needs of different customers and managing large crowds of people.

I am interested in working within an educational setting to help children understand and learn about the ever expanding and new technology available to them, as they have grown up with it their whole lives. I am interested to see what is on offer and how children can benefit from ICT within schools. I would describe myself as a fun, outgoing individual who can pick up tasks and jobs quickly. I like to work to high expectations and push myself into meeting these and working at my full potential.


Amy Manning


I study Education Studies, and I’m In my third year. I am a course leader for an additional unit I am taking called Early Years Additional Teacher Training (EYITT). For my dissertation I am carrying out a study about children’s engagement levels when using iPads in comparison to paper. I’m very much interested in technology. Outside of the University I work as a lifeguard, which I love as I have a background as a county level swimmer. Also, I currently am looking for a career that is not teaching, so I’m taking every opportunity I can to find other careers out there for me.

Leanne Miller


I am an undergraduate Education Studies student who is planning to undertake a PGCE with Special Education Needs and Disability at the University of Bedfordshire once my degree is completed.  Previous to this course my interest in technology was quite low, and my usage is still considered low by my peers, however since starting the Children and Young People in the Digital Age unit I have found I want to learn more about technology and especially how I can be used positively to support children and educators.

Sanaa Nushrat


I am enrolled as a third year student of BA (Hons) Economics with Mathematics as well as being a member of the Elite Students’ programme in the University of East London. Apart from being a full-time university student, I tutor up to GCSE level in mathematics and work part-time as a board games demonstrator at various events such as Eurogamer, MCM Comic Con and Razzed, as well as stores such as Harrods and Hamley’s, and festivals. I love meeting and interacting with new people as it affords me the perfect opportunity to not only learn about them but also to learn new and different things from them.


Veena Jeebooah


I am a second year student at the University of Roehampton studying Primary Education. I currently work part-time as a supervisor for event nights at the O2 Arena in London. I have worked here for two years and in this time I have been given the opportunity to lead a team of 9-11 stewards to provide the public with excellent customer service and safety. I therefore understand what it takes to manage a team and the importance of working together in a team. After completing my degree in teaching, I hope to pursue a long and successful career as a primary school teacher.

Christelle Mbela Ngandundu


I am in my third year in Economics in University of East London. I am Congolese but I was raised in Belgium. I speak French and Dutch and I came especially to London to improve my English.

Abigail Rayner


I am a third year student, reading Education Studies at the Pohill Campus of the University of Bedfordshire. During this year, I am studying an E-Learning unit and also completed a unit called ‘Children and Young People in the Digital Age’ during year 2. I am currently a Peer Assisted Learning Leader for 1st year Education Studies students during term 1 and 2 and a PAL Intern for the Faculty of Education and Sport. I also work in the Bedford area for the charity called KIDS, providing short break work for parents with children who have learning difficulties and disabilities. My dissertation research for this year is focusing on the use of technology in the classroom, specifically the use of Interactive Whiteboards, and I am interested in exploring the career opportunities that involve technology use and education.