In June of this year, Boxlight launched the MimioConnect® Blended Learning Platform and the mind behind this innovative teaching and learning medium is Darin Beamish, VP of Software Development at Boxlight, Inc. Beamish recently spent time talking with Larry Jacobs from Equity and Access (ace-ed.org), explaining the why and how of MimioConnect for any learning environment.
With almost 30 years of experience developing education technology solutions, Beamish has seen the changes in education trends and has worked to be responsive to educator and learner needs. He comments, “It’s always interesting how people respond and how the (education) market adapts, schools adapt, and in this case, (work) hard to try to find a solution.”
With the unique challenges presented by the pandemic including school closures and a quick move to distance teaching, Beamish saw an opportunity to modify a web application already in development to provide teachers and students a seamless shift into a fully online learning medium. Drawing from his personal experiences with his children learning from home, he understood the difficulties that teachers face especially when having to juggle multiple web applications and platforms.
“Using these platforms students are more distracted, they struggle to stay engaged, they’re at home in their own space, and they’ve got lots of things going on around them, you know, technology out the ears,” stated Beamish. He went on to say, “They’re not in the classroom where teachers can kind’ve corral that and help them stay on focus.”
Beamish recognised that more was needed than simply joining a video conferencing session and listening to instruction for a block of time. He said, “It wasn’t an interactive experience the way that it needs to be for students, in order for them to get real value out of it.” This realisation helped him sharpen his focus when designing features and tools to encourage interaction and active participation during synchronous lessons. He went on to say, “My main thing was…we need to find a way to engage and provide that instant feedback to the teachers…tools that support the teacher better.”
Beamish also knew that MimioConnect needed to be user-friendly and help teachers use planning time efficiently. With all that teachers are having to manage to deliver effective lessons, Beamish wanted to make sure that teachers had the right tools and features to make the most out of every synchronous lesson session including management tools such as ‘Random Pick’ and ‘Eyes Up’, and instant feedback for both teachers and students.
When addressing different learner needs, Beamish commented, “Really every student gets distracted, has a bad day, is tired, is hungry, … they struggle with language. Whatever it is, we need to give them more access…to the content at their pace. So that’s one of the things that this solution does really well.”
Since its launch, Beamish has already received positive feedback on MimioConnect and how it has enhanced student engagement and active participation in a remote learning environment. He is already hard at work developing new features to the platform, making MimioConnect the must-have tool for educators everywhere.
If you would like to hear more of this discussion on teaching and learning from anywhere, click here: We Teach from Everywhere These Days. Here’s a Way to Make That Seamless.
For more on MimioConnect and sign up for your free trial of this innovative teaching and learning platform for ant environment, go to global.boxlight.com/mimioconnect.