What We Learned This Year
The City of Brotherly Love was an awesome host to this year’s ISTE Conference & Expo, where educators and technology leaders alike gained new insights into educational technologies and ways to implement them in the classroom.
The Mimio team returned from Philadelphia worn out but very pleased to have experienced the largest ISTE turnout to date: almost 21,000 industry professionals and educators. Our team is enthusiastic about new trends in educational technology, and wish to share some of their key observations from ISTE 2015. Whether or not you made the journey this year to the largest educational technology trade show in North America, you can gain from the insights and impressions that follow.
Stevan Vigneaux, Director of Project Management - Stevan’s Big 3 Takeaways
- Educators expressed a continued strong interest in learning about interactive front-of-classroom technology, and were eager to discuss its many implementations and uses.
- Educational professionals showed a very strong interest in the use of personal devices for assessment and collaboration in the classroom.
- Interactive display boards in the range of 75 inches and below have begun to dominate front-of-classroom workstations, and projectors are becoming popular in implementations of larger interactive classroom displays.
Touch Technology Moving into Every Product Area
This year at ISTE, Mimio conducted its first public demonstration of the MimioProjector™ 280T touch projector. Attendees were given an in-depth look at the projector's interactive touch capabilities and ways that the technology can be used with the classroom software and mobile app to facilitate assessment and collaboration. One of its unique features really seemed to excite people – the 280T provides one of the largest interactive areas available. As large as 100 inches diagonal, the 280T allows up to 10 students to work together simultaneously.
Dave Bertrand, Senior Territory Manager, Northeast - Dave’s Big 3 Takeaways
- Touch technology just keeps getting bigger. Whether it’s in displays or mobile devices, schools are looking into touch technology as a way to improve classroom engagement by connecting with students in a way that is familiar and comfortable to them.
- Customers were excited to learn about all the different devices that incorporate touch – from touch boards, to LED displays, to projectors. Customers were especially excited to see Mimio’s new touch projector.
- One-to-one collaboration is a big area of interest among educators, since its importance in the classroom is becoming more widely stressed. They were eager to hear about the new software and hardware designed to help facilitate it.
1:1 Learning Becoming a Focus for Technology Companies
On Monday, Samsung announced its Classroom in a Box collaboration with McGraw-Hill, which will facilitate the creation of 1:1 classrooms. Each Classroom in a Box package will contain 30 Galaxy Tab tablets or 30 Samsung Chromebook 2 laptops, as well as McGraw-Hill curriculum and 30 one-year licenses for Thrive ELA and Math. With these tools and other helpful technologies such as MimioProjector devices and the MimioMobile™ app, educators will have an easy way to make their classrooms 1:1 and increase students’ collaboration activities.
Steve Mefford, Director of Sales, North America - Steve’s Big 3 Takeaways
- The MimioMobile app for Web browsers caught the attention of visitors to the Mimio booth – everyone who saw this new offering was blown away and very anxious for its upcoming release.
- Schools are getting on board with buying necessary equipment, but now have to focus on training teachers and staff to use it successfully.
- The idea of teaching only from the front of the classroom is outdated. Educators’ current classroom design needs to include a front-of-classroom teaching area supported by 1:1 collaboration around the room.
The Results Are In
On Tuesday at ISTE, Blackboard and Project Tomorrow released a new report highlighting the importance of using technology in the classroom. The report shows that over 90% of K-12 administrators and 78% of parents agree that technology is an important part of student success. With the ever-growing availability and offerings of new technologies, many schools have begun to implement helpful hardware and software in their classrooms. However, interest in basic technologies shows that there is still a long way to go before all students have access to the technology that will help them succeed.
Leigh Ann Hopkins, Senior Territory Manager - Leigh Ann’s Big 3 Takeaways
- The combo of the MimioTeach™ interactive whiteboard and the MimioCapture™ ink recorder continues to be a big wow factor. Educators are thrilled to be able to interact with all digital content and capture all dry erase notes on a huge space with a very cost-effective solution! Mimio’s touch projector is tremendously popular because of the grand size of the interactive space and the ability to use touch to control it.
- Customers are excited to have access to the MimioConnect™ online community, which allows them to collaborate with other educators.
- The ability to use mobile features across platforms is another huge interest.
Mobile Learning: Hot and Getting Hotter
Due to increasing efforts to create the ideal 1:1 classroom, mobile technologies were a hot topic at ISTE this year. Many companies introduced new applications and software to work with the growing catalog of mobile-device options, including smartphones, tablets, Apple Watches, and Chromebooks. Mimio announced its release of the MimioMobile app for Web browsers, which allows the MimioMobile app to be used on devices such as Chromebooks and other laptops, helping to create the model 1:1 classroom.
“The industry is evolving at a rapid pace and Mimio continues to lead the way,” added Christopher Leonardo, director of Research and Development at Mimio. “We’re looking forward to ISTE 2016 in Denver to see what new and exciting technologies will make their debut to the world of technology-driven educators.”