On 24 January 2019, I attended the NOT Fair in Utrecht. This name makes English speakers smile, and I was alerted to this by English Coach Buffi Duberman in a video she shared on Facebook. In Dutch NOT stands for the Nationale Onderwijs Tentoonstelling (National Education Expo ) with a tagline “De sleutel voor beter onderwijs” (The key for better education).
This Fair or Expo was aimed at those involved in primary and secondary education in the Netherlands, but as a higher education lecturer and someone personally very interested in education in general, I found it well worth attending. It was right next door to another expo I was attending the same day – the 2019 WebWinkel Vakdagen/Ecommerce Expo – so it was easy to just walk next door for a look. Unfortunately I had to rush home for a sick child (who is fine now), but still managed to get the idea of the expo.
You can find all the information here (in Dutch):
Movement in Schools
Something I was excited to see was a focus on options other than simply expecting children to just sit still for most of the day. I remember literally hour after hour at school on hard, uncomfortable chairs. I’m also sad to say that it still happens a lot in all levels of education. Particularly since a recent back injury, I’ve been forced to look for other options and like what this company offer: Health2School – I actually recognised their logo as their parent company Health2Work have been involved with my own work integration.
I’m glad to hear that my own children spend at least a part of each day at school literally running around outside. Being little (half) Dutch children, they’re out there rain, hail or shine.
Culture in Schools
There was a whole section at the Fair about integrating culture into education. My own website Culture and Kids reflects how positive I am about that! At this event, it meant that many museums were represented, and Dutch children certainly have a wealth of world class options for school trips! Here’s a few of the stands I visited:
- Fonds Voor Cultuur Participatie (Fund for Cultural Participation)
- Mauritshuis (famous home of “Girl with a Pearl Earring)
- Museum Prinsenhof Delft (our wonderful local museum)
Online education for teachers
I was pleasantly surprised to see several stands catering for teacher education. As a part time higher education lecturer, I have sufficient time to keep up with my industry, however primary and secondary teachers, who are in front of the class for most of every weekday, do not have as much time to be able to educate themselves. These two companies offer a broad range of short online skill courses for teachers:
Elearing Wizard: e-learningwizard.nl
Media and information for teachers
There were several interesting publications that I picked up aimed at teachers. My Dutch is ok but it takes some effort to read so I’ll work my way through these slowly!
Vives Magazine: Education Innovation & ICT
Onderwijsblad: Publication of the AOB education bond
PrimaOnderwijs: Magazine “for all professionals in education”
Media and books for children
I’ve noticed in the Netherlands that there are several great age appropriate media channels aimed at children. Though not represented at the Fair, I’ve been impressed with the daily tv news for kids Het Jeugdjournaal and I know my girls sometimes watch this at school. At the NOT Fair I picked up two weekly newspapers – Kids Week is aimed at around 7-12 years old and 7 Days is aimed at teenagers. Both are really informative, and actually at a good level for me to read while I’m still learning Dutch! There were also many stands with children’s books and one for using Minecraft in Education!
Education bloggers and vloggersThere was a section at the Fair for education bloggers and vloggers to broadcast…I didn’t get time to visit this but love the concept. As you’ll see in this post, I personally like to use vlogging and blogging as a way to “take notes to share”. I met a lovely lady on the bus to the event who was an education blogger, Juf Maike.IPON 2020
In 2020, there is a Fair focussed on my own personal interest – ICT in Education. So I’ve already marked 5 & 6 February 2020 in my agenda. There will be more than 100 workshops and presentations on topics such as learning analytics, augmented reality, educational apps, social media in the class, working in the cloud, digital identity, digital media knowledge, gamification, flipping the classroom and tablets in education.
NOT is held every 2 years in the Netherlands, for more information:
My own photos of the event are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Fon1gQ2hpR6zNVs99