If you’re like me, you ended the school year with summer goals: work-related tasks, household chores, educational books to read, and so on. You may have been assigned a book by your administrator, or perhaps you’re taking a class that requires intensive reading. As an English major, lifelong reader, and elementary teacher-librarian, I believe in the power of stories. And as much as I enjoy reading books that help me become a better teacher, I also like to read positive and inspirational stories about students and teachers.
Over 20,000 industry professionals from 81 different countries were in attendance at the 2019 ISTE Conference & Expo in Philadelphia, and more than 550 companies came out to present their EdTech solutions. For every teacher, administrator, technology specialist, and education leader in attendance, this year’s conference offered many opportunities to discover new products, explore innovative ideas, and develop new connections with others in the industry.
After another exciting year at ISTE, the Boxlight team has returned home with new industry trends in mind as we approach the 2019–20 academic year. Keynote speeches, BYOD sessions, and vendor presentations at the conference focused on a wide variety of EdTech topics and trends from robots to human connection. For those who were able to attend, the 2019 conference made a lasting impression.
Educators tend to focus on what students know in school. We teach, we test, and we intervene if needed. We also take into consideration the social and emotional wellbeing of students, caring about their socialization and their effort. But one of the most foundational factors in a student’s future is often ignored. One thing that, when changed, can literally change the course of a person’s life: their belief.
When school districts invest in technology, the tools they buy must be user-friendly, integrated, and ready to use to support instruction—not something that creates an additional burden for teachers. That’s the foundation that Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS)—Georgia’s fifth-largest school district—used in 2018 when it was time to refresh digital classroom tools.
Years earlier, CCPS had spent millions of dollars putting digital technology into classrooms, ending up with a very disjointed solution that included projectors from one manufacturer, whiteboards from another, student response systems made by a third provider, and slates and cameras by yet another. “None of it worked well together,” says Chief of Technology Rod Smith, M.Ed. “From an instructional standpoint, teachers need something that's seamless so they can save instructional time and focus on teaching students.”
Another year full of new and innovative EdTech ideas, products, and methods has come to an end, and you may find yourself wondering who is guiding progress in the EdTech industry at the start of 2019. Back in 2015, we made a comprehensive list of the Top 20 Influencers in EdTech, but since then, many new faces have joined in to champion growth within the industry. Here are 10 more EdTech influencers who are working to shape the industry today:
Knowing that 60 percent of the jobs that elementary school students will fill haven’t even been invented yet, Huntington Beach City School District (HBCSD) is on a mission to prepare those students for successful futures by transforming its classrooms into 21st century learning environments.
“If you were in a classroom 10 years ago and told your high school English teacher that you were going to write a blog, your teacher would have looked at you like you'd lost your mind,” says Gregory Haulk, HBCSD’s superintendent. “They would have told you that there was no way you could make a living at it, and to start thinking about writing for a newspaper.”
Boxlight is excited to announce the fall webinar series, “Transforming Learning in the Classroom,” featuring six webinars to help you find ways to transform learning with the right technologies and best practices for your classroom. All of the presenters are working in schools every day and making an impact, offering you real insights from real leaders.
The series will begin on September 19, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. ET with “Atlanta Public Schools Secrets to Success: The Odd Couple.” The educators hosting each webinar in the series use and manage technology every day in their classrooms and districts to engage their students and encourage collaboration. The webinars were developed to help educators learn how to utilize classroom technology to promote students’ learning, and gain valuable insights and best practices from those who know what works best.
It’s August, and for many the semester has just begun. Over the next few weeks, the 2018–2019 school year will take off for districts all over the country. If you’re an educator with plans to improve EdTech at your school this year, Boxlight has countless resources to help guide you through the process. Whether you like to gain new educational insight by listening to podcasts, reading case studies, or communicating with other educators, Boxlight has dozens of new opportunities for professional development and guidance. Here’s a look at what’s new at Boxlight this fall!
For years, Atlanta Public Schools used traditional whiteboards and Promethean boards to lecture students. “It wasn’t interactive or engaging at all,” says Aleigha Henderson-Rosser, Executive Director Instructional Technology. “It was no different than projecting onto a chalkboard.”
APS was ready for a change. In 2015, they began their quest for an effective 21st century classroom. After an extensive search involving participants from both technology and instruction, APS selected Boxlight’s interactive classroom as the foundational learning platform for middle and high school classrooms district-wide.