Where would we be without collaboration? Odds are, we wouldn't have all the technological tools that make up our contemporary society such as Internet, telecommunications, buildings, etc. No great human achievement was ever accomplished single-handedly - even when it may seem that way. One of the most influential scientists of all time, Isaac Newton, once famously wrote, "if I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." The 'shoulders of giants' was a reference to pre-existing scientific research and concepts that he used to develop the foundations of classical mechanics. Despite all his impressive achievements, Newton rightfully recognized that none of his work would have been possible without previous research and discovery at the time.
During the design process of our BoardShare unit, we took this concept to heart. We realized that if a particular technology was going to prevail in the 21st century, it would have to posses a solid foundation. This is actually the story behind our name, BoardShare. Before we started developing prototypes, we did a competitive analysis of the K-12 market and noticed that over 40% of schools in the U.S. were underfunded and thus could not afford interactive whiteboards. Moreover, in the cases were these schools were able to purchase an interactive whiteboard, they could only afford one or two of them, leaving the rest of the classrooms without edtech.
The BoardShare Solution: Portability
One of the things that we value the most in our BoardShare unit is its portability because it allows teachers to share the device with one another, or bring it with them to other classrooms during different class periods. Therefore, even if a school can't afford to get a BoardShare unit for every classroom, they would still be able to potentially use it in all classrooms. For example, if a school had 10 classrooms but didn't have the budget to get 10 BoardShare units, they could get 5 units and share a unit for every two classrooms. Moreover, this 2:1 ratio exponentially increases the value of each BoardShare unit for underfunded schools, allowing for increased reach and minimized cost.
A Deeper Look
If you've ever had to share a classroom with another teacher, then it's likely that you've encountered issues with saving your annotations on the board, as well as sacrificing precious whiteboard space to preserve the work of a colleague. With the BoardShare unit, teachers can save their annotations in the virtual whiteboard space and access them at a later time. Also, if a specific lesson is standard and reusable, annotations can be recyled (so to speak) among teachers, ensuring the students of each class learn at the same pace and allowing more time for the creation of more specific annotated concepts.
These are just some of the ways that our device aims to reach more students and schools. Our belief is that there is always room for improvement, which is why we are continuously working on software updates, and researching ways that we can improve our hardware design moving forward. What about you? Have you found ways to increase the reach of your edtech device that are not listed here? Make sure to leave a comment below.