It’s true what people say: Each year seems to go by faster than the one before! For Boxlight, 2017 has been full of exciting new product launches and a greater focus on STEM initiatives—including becoming the convening agency for the Georgia Girls STEM Collaborative, formed under the auspices of the National Girls Collaborative Project. We received a host of accolades from a number of prestigious organizations, and we also saw the closing of our initial public offering. However, these activities won’t have us resting on our laurels and there is still much work to be done.
Reflecting on a Great Year
Before we move forward, I wanted to take a moment to look back at 2017. As I do every year at this time, I like to pause briefly and evaluate our professional and personal successes. As part of this exercise, I ask myself a few simple questions:
- What were our greatest accomplishments?
- What am I particularly grateful for?
- What new aspirations will we chart a path towards in 2018?
With those questions in mind, let me start by saying it’s been an amazing year at Boxlight!
During January and February, we attended three major conferences and trade shows: BETT in London, FETC in Orlando, and TCEA in Austin. During these shows, we had the opportunity to meet with many of our current users as well as others who made the decision—after seeing our expansive product offerings—to join the Boxlight family!
We also walked away with Tech & Learning magazine’s Best in Show honors for our Labdisc portable STEM lab at both BETT and TCEA. I believe this product is revolutionizing science in terms of convenience, cost, portability, and inquiry-based STEM learning in a real-world framework. We are giving teachers a new pathway, moving them away from a worksheet-driven classroom to one where their students are actually performing relatable science activities.
In March, we published a new guide to help educators select and implement whole-class interactive technology. The 14-page eBook, available here for free, provides guidance for selecting interactive learning solutions. We developed this guide to help administrators select the tech that best aligns with their unique needs and learning goals.
Later that month—after being named a Cool Tool Finalist in the Emerging Technology Solution category for the 2017 EdTech Digest Awards program—Boxlight’s Labdisc was once again named a winner, beating out nine other technology solutions for this particularly competitive awards program.
In April, we debuted two new projector lines—the P9 and Cambridge—as well as our ProColor interactive displays. These newest additions are designed to increase opportunities for schools to acquire solutions that suit both their classrooms and their budgets.
In June, we attended the 2017 ISTE conference in San Antonio, where we hosted 11 professional development mini-sessions for attendees. The workshop sessions proved to be engaging and fun while helping educators learn how interactive technology can enhance assessment, STEM, collaboration, and whole-class instruction.
July was an especially important month in our evolution as we signed on to be the convening agency for the Georgia Girls STEM Collaborative. This statewide network of professionals, researchers, and practitioners is focused on expanding and strengthening STEM-related career opportunities for girls. Boxlight will be responsible for encouraging collaboration and improving inter-program communication among these various organizations and individuals, helping them come together to share best practices, develop new collaborations, and share resources. Collaborative partners include schools, informal educators, programs that offer expanded learning opportunities, and businesses and industries that are committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue classes and careers in STEM.
As schools opened their doors to another new year in September, Boxlight’s MimioConnect interactive teaching community—a go-to source for interactive K-12 lessons and resources, including STEM—underwent a facelift. In October, the company began offering monthly STEM lessons for teachers. With science standards now really emphasizing problem solving skills and inquiry-based learning, teachers have to add the task of coming up with new lesson ideas to an already hectic workload—and we knew they would appreciate having access to a steady stream of easy-to-execute lesson ideas right at their fingertips.
To help educators harness the promise of this discipline and find the resources they need, Boxlight published The Big Guide to STEM in November. This 30-page PDF explains why STEM is so critical for today’s students and shares several ways to incorporate STEM learning into the classroom. Links throughout the guide give readers easy access to resources and supplementary information. Additionally, the guide includes an at-a-glance infographic on the current state of STEM professions along with a collection of top 10 STEM lists, from STEM apps and STEM tech products to STEM funding opportunites and girl-focused resources, among others.
We Are Thankful for You!
Thinking about what we are particularly grateful for this year, it really comes down to you! The classroom teachers, technology directors and coordinators, and school and district administrators who have dedicated their careers to helping children—really putting their hearts and souls into the development of our most precious resources. Your passion and dedication is remarkable. On behalf of all of us at Boxlight, we offer a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you.
As we prepare to enter 2018, our aspirations remain steeped in delivering the very highest quality of integrated interactive offerings of software, classroom technologies, professional development, and support services in the marketplace. This will include at least two new whole-class product innovations as well as a new MimioStudio classroom software release during the first half of the year.
We also can’t wait to host our second annual Boxlight STEM Day, where a number of elementary and high schools in the United States and Latin America will work with us in a hands-on, inquiry-based learning event designed to help students learn critical STEM skills and understand how STEM disciplines apply to the world around them.
But we won’t stop there—and that’s because we truly value our partnership with you. May you have a wonderful holiday season.
Happy New Year!
Mark Elliott, CEO of Boxlight Corporation