The Mimio team has settled back in after FETC (January 12-15) in Orlando, Florida, and TCEA (February 6-10) in Austin, Texas. As always, both events were fun and informative. Here are some of the highlights and trends we noted at these two industry events.
Displays Are Everywhere
Our team noticed that displays were really everywhere. Obviously, educator interest in large, bright displays remains strong. So, we were delighted that our new UHD MimioDisplay™ touch display (which debuted at TCEA) was a huge hit! Educators love that 4K and UHD technology offers a visually sharper and more immersive experience than conventional HD displays. The big attraction for these displays is what they can do for collaboration. While the graphics dazzle, what educators really like is that you can have up to 10 students working together simultaneously at the front of the room.
Laser Projection Technology
We saw a huge increase in laser projection in both touch projectors and ultra-wide projectors, which were popular at both events. The majority of attendees who stopped by the booth told us they saw laser projectors as an alternative to large displays when tight school budgets were a factor. Not having to replace bulbs – ever – also had high appeal for those contemplating this new technology.
More Devices, More Types of Devices
Schools have added mobile devices of almost every type at almost every grade level. Devices range from Chromebooks and tablets to BYOD. What every school wants to know is how to get the most learning out of these devices. Many are looking for new ways to take these devices further with collaboration and assessment apps. From the feedback we got, the ability of applications to be “device-agnostic” is key.
General Conference Experiences
At both events we saw a focus on wireless and network security. We also noted that most content and tools seemed to be centered on collaboration and personalized learning.
We saw a big emphasis on project-based learning implementation at FETC, so the PBL trend is definitely gaining ground. And we enjoyed the keynote by Reshma Saujani, founder of the nonprofit Girls Who Code. She spoke about the roles educators, parents, businesses, and policymakers can play in increasing K-12 STEM programs and closing the gender gap in tech fields. Great stuff!
At TCEA, team members spotted marvelous technologies like the Dremel Dreams program, which enables 3D printing in the classroom, and Califone’s GH507 and the GH131 headsets, both of which are specially designed for game-based learning.
The team became big fans of the two keynote speakers at TCEA. In his opening keynote speech, Charles Best related how he started his nonprofit, DonorsChoose.org, in a Bronx classroom. Best gave audience members $10 gift cards (altogether totaling his speaking fee!) for use on his website. The closing keynote speaker was Captain Barrington Irving, founder of Experience Aviation, which provides summer and after-school programs focused on robotics projects, flight simulators, etc. Irving gave a very inspiring message about empowering students with technology.
What About You?
What did you see and appreciate at the events? Which technologies are you hoping to get in your classrooms? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.