On Tuesday, March 2, 2021, we announced the launch of the Boxlight Virtual Classroom. The Virtual Classroom was designed to help educators and education partners experience real-classroom scenarios using our education technology solutions such as interactive displays, classroom software and web-based learning platforms, and STEM products. The room was designed in response to the move many schools made to remote and hybrid learning environments. The goal of the Virtual Classroom is to provide educators with Best Practices for facilitating engaging and interactive lessons for their students.
The special ribbon-cutting event began with Aleasha Stevens, our Education Consultant, who will lead many of the virtual experiences in the Virtual Classroom. “Today we are celebrating the grand opening of our Virtual Classroom at Boxlight, where education professionals like you can experience and evaluate Boxlight technologies through virtual demonstrations that are customized to your needs from the perspective of one educator to another,” remarked Aleasha.
Stevens then introduced CEO Michael Pope who spoke more about our company’s commitment to designing and providing innovative solutions needed in learning environments today, “We’re committed to making sure that we’re providing those right solutions that meet virtual and hybrid … requirements.” He went to relate how our education solutions, designed to boost interactive learning, has innovated over 1.2 million classrooms around the world. This includes solutions for the classroom, hybrid learning, remote learning, STEM instruction, and professional development.
Michael introduced April Mayo, Director of Instructional Technology at Clayton County Public Schools (Georgia), who related her school’s positive experiences and strong relationship with Boxlight. Mayo has worked closely with the Boxlight Professional Development division, EOS, to support teachers’ work including through school closures and the move to remote learning. Mayo glowingly said about the Boxlight team, “I cannot even imagine where (we) would be without the Boxlight-EOS team.”
A special musical performance by Eliza Willet followed, which was the perfect lead-in to the ribbon cutting facilitated by Ainsley Jones representing the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce. After a ceremonial proclamation, Pope cut the ribbon with representatives from the Boxlight team.
This was followed by a ‘sneak-peek’ into what can be done, and what education professionals can experience, when a demonstration is booked within the Virtual Classroom. Aleasha explained that all demonstrations are customized to educator or organization needs, showcasing what Boxlight solutions can do for any environment. This includes experiences for the whole classroom using the ProColor 3 interactive flat panel display. All ProColor interactive displays come with MimioStudio™ classroom software, the MimioMobile™ collaboration and assessment app, Unplug’d screen mirroring software which is essential in physically distanced classrooms, and NDMS which provides districts and schools simple, centralized management of the ProColor interactive displays.
Jeremy Peterson, Product Manager at Boxlight, went on to present our MimioSTEM solutions in the Virtual Classroom makerspace. This includes the Robo 3D printer, a simple-to-use, turnkey printer where students will experience a complete design process. Jeremy also pointed out, among other STEM solutions, the Labdisc portable science labs, Mimio MyBot robot system, and the MimioView document camera. He also mentioned that MimioSTEM products come with the multi-award winning MyStemKits standards-driven lessons, including Virtual STEM lessons that an absolute must for hybrid learning and remote learning environments.
Hank Nance, Chief Operating Officer, then spoke about our multi-award winning MimioConnect® Blended Learning Platform. MimioConnect combines innovative lesson building and instructional tools to create an active learning environment. Teachers and students can connect from anywhere making this a perfect solution for distance, flipped or blended learning environments. Why is it a perfect solution? Student engagement, distance learning, in-class learning, and assessment are simplified in a single conferencing platform. Hank explained, “What we wanted to do was not only create an engaging platform where existing assets and resources (SMART Notebook, ActiveInspire, other 3rd party interactive whiteboard lessons) the districts were using were readily available, tying into an LMS, automatically gradebook, and then fed back into the LMS, freeing up the teacher. (MimioConnect) created an engaging platform where the teacher had the ability to create ad-hoc assessments … on-the-fly, to call on a student, to know if the student is actually leaving the application or the browser from the instructional side.” MimioConnect has classroom management tools such as Eyes Up and Pick. In addition, Hank made a special announcement regarding the new updated version, “We are very, very pleased to be right now releasing a full web-conferencing version of MimioConnect that allows for all of the assessment and all of the moderator functions to be controlled.”
Hank gave much credit to Darin Beamish, Vice President of Software Development and ‘architect’ of MimioConnect who said, “This is really an exciting time. From a project-development standpoint, I’m really pleased by how everything has come together.” He was also pleased to explain that MimioConnect not only serves schools’ purposes now with hybrid and remote learning but says that the platform is for the long-term. Darin commented, “It’s not just during a pandemic that this is going to add value. These tools are highly-relevant if you have a regular school year – even when students are back in the classroom. He continued by saying, “The nice thing about the platform is (you) can deliver this to fully … in the room, you can deliver it with everybody being remote, you can deliver it where half the people are in and half out … that hybrid approach.”
To close out the Virtual Classroom launch, Sunshine Nance – VP of Marketing – announced a special promotion combining the virtual classroom experience and MimioConnect, “We’re asking educators to do two things - one Get Connected and two Stay Connected.” The Get Connected, Stay Connected promotion involves scheduling and participating in a virtual session with Aleasha where the solutions are customized to school or district needs. She stated, “You customize the product you would like to see, you customize the time you would like and are available, and we just ask that you bring three colleagues from your school to attend this session. Once you do that in the month of March, we are going to give you access to our award-winning MimioConnect Blended Learning Platform and then we are asking you to stay connected.”
Sunshine underscored that Boxlight understands the reticence and unease that sometimes comes with learning new technology, especially with the fluid nature of schools (open, partially open, fully closed, and remote learning). She continued, “We realize that technology is daunting. We want to be there for you. We want to make sure you’re using this and you’re using it well.”
Sunshine went on to thank our special guests for this event - April Mayo, the Gwinnet County Chamber of Commerce and Ainsley Jones, Eliza Willet, and everyone at Boxlight who have worked diligently and tirelessly to put this amazing and innovative learning space together. The Boxlight Virtual Classroom launch and ribbon-cutting was certainly one to remember and we look forward to sharing our positive experiences utilizing this ed tech space.
To schedule a Virtual Classroom session with Aleasha, please go to boxlight.com/virtual-classroom. Details regarding this March promotion are provided, including the number of sessions that will be facilitated by Aleasha and expectations from educators who register.