Apple's digital-hub philosophy has helped set the tone for this year's BETT show - the UK IT-in-education event.

The show, at London's Olympia, was opened yesterday by secretary of state for education and skills, Estelle Morris.

Andrew Wilkinson, director of show organizer Emap Education, believes that Apple core-applications iMovie and iDVD are responsble for setting the tone of this year's show.

He said: "One of this year's themes at BETT is the role of digital video in education, and how it is used for academic purposes. A lot of the interest in digital video stems from Apple's latest technologies.

"Companies like Apple, emphasize the importance of technology in education. Digital video in the classroom is not just a gimmick, it's an educational tool."

And Apple's new iMac - dubbed by Jobs in his Macworld Expo keynote as being 'the ultimate digital hub' - proved a real star of the show, drawing massive crowds to the Apple stand throughout the day.

Now in its 17th year, organizers Emap Education vaunt it as the "largest educational and ICT event in the world".

BETT drew a record attendance for its first day, estimated in the region of 4,500 to 5,000 visitors. A total of 22,000 show goers are expected over the four-day show. The show runs until Saturday from 10am-6pm, except on Saturday, when doors close at 4.30pm.

Apple received an award last night at the BETT Awards.

It beat the competition to win the best Software Tools, Secondary for digital video authoring tool iDVD.

Apple was also nominated in the ICT Hardware – Primary category for iBook wireless mobile classroom.