The Boxlight Mimio team has settled back into their daily routines after FETC (January 24–27) in Orlando, Florida and TCEA (February 6–10) in Austin, Texas. As always, both events were exciting and enlightening, and reminded us how our tech-savvy educators know they must stay on top of education trends in order to learn how teaching and learning can best benefit from technology’s near-constant changes.
Here’s a quick recap of what we experienced and saw:
Labdisc: Changing How Schools Look at the Science Lab
At both shows, we showcased our Boxlight Labdisc—or as we like to refer to it, our “portable STEM lab.” This all-in-one lab fits in the palm of your hand and makes science learning relevant and engaging. I just might have liked science if these were available back in the day! But seriously, it’s the only solution for K-12 science, with up to 14 wireless sensors built into a single compact device, measuring anything from sound and motion to air pressure and distance in four different versions covering general science, physics, biochemistry, and the environment.
And it’s not just us who believe this device rocks—so did Tech & Learning magazine, who honored us with a Best in Show award!
The Future Is Now
We also gave a sneak peek to our MimioSpace collaborative system. This projected capacitive touch—or touch overlay—interactive system combines collaborative touch with the clarity and reliability of laser projection to create a seamless widescreen touch experience with up to 30 touch points. It’s really what interactivity can be. Actually, many people came to the booth asking for “BOXLIGHT’s interactive large screen” saying, “Someone told me I should come to see this, it is amazing!”
More to come on this unparalleled touch interface in the upcoming months!
Inspired to Learn
Circling back to general conference experiences: At both events, we saw a focus on makerspaces, 3D printers, and online PD professional development—be sure to check out Edthena, which helps teachers analyze teaching using classroom video and online collaboration. Additionally, most content and tools seemed to be centered on project-based learning and personalized learning.
And we enjoyed the opening keynote at TCEA by SoulPancake CEO Shabnam Mogharabi. She spoke about bringing joy to the classroom where she commented, “It’s like a virus. They’ll pass it on.”
Mogharabi also said, “People can often dismiss you as being an ‘idealist’ when you talk about joy, but joy can be a real motivator. We believe people love to spread inspiration.” Mogharabi shared stories and videos from SoulPancake, an award-winning media and entertainment company founded by actor Rainn Wilson, to highlight the power of authenticity and truthfulness in storytelling. The company produces popular videos such as “Kid President” and “My Last Days,” which went viral with the story of dying teenage singer-songwriter Zach Sobiech and a host of celebrities singing his song “Clouds.” SoulPancake aims to get people to connect with each other through its content.
Nadia Lopez, the closing TCEA keynote, struck another cord. Nadia shot to national recognition when the popular Humans of New York blog profiled one of her students, Vidal Chastanet, who named Nadia the most influential person in his life. After the blog post went viral and was shared 145,000 times, Nadia was featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, NBC News, and other outlets. In less than three weeks, Nadia and HONY raised $1.4 million to endow a scholarship fund for graduates of Mott Hall Bridges. As the founder and principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and a finalist for the 2016 Global Teachers Prize, Nadia shared insight into her students. 100% of these students live below the poverty line, but 72 of the 75 graduates were able to enroll in high schools beyond the Brownsville community last year. The school maintains a 98% graduation rate among its first three graduating classes. Her talk was truly inspirational and reminds us we can all be a change agent.
But what about you? What did you see and like at the events? What can’t you wait to get in your classrooms? Share in the comments section below. And don’t miss these other blog posts that offer up additional takeaways from the trade shows:
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