It’s hard to believe that we are closing in on the end of another year—and that the start of a new decade is right around the corner!
Here at Boxlight, 2019 brought exciting product launches, a host of new STEM initiatives, expanding partnerships, and plenty of collaborative learning events. It’s been a great year, but we can’t wait to accomplish even more in 2020!
Looking Back on a Successful Year
Before we embrace a new year, I want to take a moment to reflect on the past 12 months. Every year, I like to look back on the year as a whole and assess the progress I’ve made, both personally and professionally. To do this, I always ask myself the same three questions:
- What did I accomplish this year?
- What am I particularly thankful for?
- What are we reaching for in 2020?
With those questions in mind, I can say one thing for sure: It’s been yet another remarkable year at Boxlight!
In January, at the Bett conference in London, we debuted and previewed the Boxlight Network Device Management System (NDMS), which gives IT network administrators centralized control of their Boxlight interactive displays. With Boxlight NDMS, customers are now able to create and control individual and groups of IFPDs, whereby events and update activities can be scheduled and managed from one place. Attendees saw improvements to the award-winning MimioStudio™ 12 with the introduction of a new feature that gives teachers the ability to embed web pages directly in their lessons. In addition, this feature allows educators to embed Google docs. We also launched MimioInteract, a collection of collaborative activities designed for the Boxlight ProColor 490 Touch Table.
Following the successful appearance at Bett, we announced two new important partnerships with Critical Links and Modern Robotics, Inc. These alliances saw the launch of Mimio MicroCloud, designed to improve and extend classroom connectivity and availability of the MyBot education platform to expand Boxlight’s STEM offerings.
In February, we witnessed how the Boxlight reseller partnership network—which I believe to be second to none—gave us two new statewide contracts. The first was with Digital Age Technologies, Inc. (DAT), a highly regarded full-service sales and services company in Michigan, which landed one of Michigan’s REMC SAVE interactive classroom technology contracts. The second win came with our partner DHE Computer Systems, a nationally recognized technical sales and services company, which was awarded Colorado’s Cooperative Educational Purchasing Council’s (CEPC) Audio Visuals bid. The bid process in Colorado, led by JeffCo Public Schools, operates under the CEPC, a cooperative of Colorado Public Schools, and represents approximately 70 percent of the K-12 public school enrollment for the state of Colorado.
With the arrival of March, we announced our acquisition of Modern Robotics (after previously working with them in an exclusive partnership earlier in the year). This was the perfect time to have seized the opportunity to expand our offerings in the red-hot field of STEM and robotics learning. The Mimio MyBot educational robotics system was conceived and developed to fulfill a need in robotics and coding in the classroom. By bringing these cutting-edge teaching tools to educators, we are helping them engage today’s students in meaningful learning experiences that will create graduates who are workplace-ready in emerging STEM fields such as software, robotics, and technology.
Additionally, a new partnership with Bahwan CyberTek (BCT), a global supplier of digital transformation solutions, was announced. This partnership is helping to bring Boxlight Mimio’s award-winning classroom solutions to the Middle East, with exclusive rights to the Oman market.
The month of March also saw the start of our spring webinar series, entitled Transforming Learning in the Classroom, which is now available on demand. In this series, we showcased five free webinars covering three unique topics: helping schools navigate bringing STEM and robotics into the classroom, successfully integrating classroom technology, and delivering effective professional development.
In April, our MimioSpace collaborative system, which features whole-class collaborative teaching technology, was named a winner in the best hardware for education solution category in the 2019 EdTech Digest Cool Tool Awards program. In addition, Boxlight’s MimioFrame touch board kit was honored as a finalist in the best new products and services category, while partner Critical Links’ C3 Micro-Cloud—upon which the Mimio MicroCloud is based—was chosen as a finalist in the best networking, IT, connectivity, or access solution category.
Every June has us gearing up for the biggest EdTech conference of the year: the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference & Expo. Held in Philadelphia this year, we were busy unveiling our new Mimio MyBot educational robotics system and the MimioClarity™ classroom audio distribution system. During the conference, we hosted a STEM Playground and presented daily sessions to help educators transform classroom learning. In one session, we featured Jim Christensen, executive director of the ShareSpace Foundation, which is part of the Buzz Aldrin Family Foundation—perfect timing since the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing was several weeks later. He presented Empowering Students in STEM Education Using Robotics and Space Exploration to highlight how educators can incorporate robotics and coding into instruction.
In July, as part of its initiative to “engage every student every day in real work that matters,” the Anacortes School District (ASD) in the state of Washington expanded its use of the total classroom solution from Boxlight from its high school to all classrooms in the district.
That month also found us entering into another key partnership—this time with the Aldrin Family Foundation (AFF) and ShareSpace Education (SSE). As part of this partnership, we are integrating SSE’s Giant Moon Map™ and Giant Mars Map™ programs into the Mimio MyBot educational robotics system. We are joining forces in 2020 to offer the solution to K-12 districts and schools across the United States, with a focus on reaching underserved urban communities.
In August, Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS), Georgia’s fifth-largest school district, initiated a comprehensive professional development program with a multi-method approach for online, onsite, and consultancy training within its whole-class learning solution with Boxlight’s subsidiary, EOS Education (EOS), a professional development provider for the K-12 education market. The program is designed to facilitate effective implementation of Boxlight classroom solutions and to provide educators with the necessary skills, knowledge, and best practices regarding usage of available technologies in their classroom.
With the start of a new school year in September, we launched our fall 2019 webinar series. The series included five free webinars covering three topics: using robotics to prepare students for college and careers, utilizing technology to promote critical thinking, and the fundamentals for project-based learning. In case you didn’t catch the fall webinars, you can listen to them on demand.
October was a very busy month for us! We added Jim Clark to our Board of Directors. Jim serves as president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, leading a network of 4,600 Boys and Girls Clubs that serves nearly 4.7 million young people globally.
We also announced two new reseller partnerships with Virtucom and Sussman Education. Another partner, DHE Computer Systems, a nationally recognized technical sales and services company, once again assisted in securing a winning bid for the Colorado’s Cooperative Educational Purchasing Council’s (CEPC) Audio Visual contract.
We also released Volume 2 of The Big Guide to STEM, which features tips and resources for integrating STEM into your curriculum.
Based on growing demand for multimedia products in the education sector, we entered into an exclusive global reseller partnership agreement with Moovly Media in November. Boxlight will resell the jointly branded MimioMoovly cloud-based video creation software. With no installation or maintenance needed, this online tool will enable students and teachers to easily create videos using over 1.3 million royalty-free media assets—including photos, illustrations, video clips, sounds, and music—to support classroom instruction, flipped classroom videos, video assignments, media literacy workshops, and more. With MimioMoovly, Boxlight is able to offer an engaging way to increase students’ digital competencies as it can be used as a stand-alone video production tool or to enhance larger interactive projects or lessons as part of the total Boxlight solution.
Finally, we welcomed two additional regional reseller partnerships in November: Superior Fiber & Data Services, Inc. in Texas and AV Associates, which operates in Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa.
Whew! What a year, right?! We have so much to be grateful for, yet I want you to know that when I think about what I have to be particularly grateful for this year, it ultimately comes down to you—our closest supporters! The teachers, technology directors, administrators, and education specialists who selflessly dedicated your callings to supporting today’s students and our next generation of leaders. Your incredible passion, commitment, and devotion are astounding. On behalf of everyone at Boxlight and our incredible reseller partners, we celebrate you and offer a sincere thank you to each and every one of you.
What’s in Store for 2020?
As we near the start of 2020, our goals remain rooted in our mission to deliver the highest quality of integrated interactive offerings of software, classroom technologies, professional development, and support services around the world.
What’s next? Good things come to those who wait—and we can’t wait to show you!
Until then, from all of us at Boxlight, may you have a joyful holiday season and a happy New Year!