As an educator, my summers should be typically lighter with school sessions out. But since I represent Konica Minolta at the popular International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference each June, I get to teach administrators and educators about the latest technologies for educators we offer and hear from them about the hot issues on their minds. I recently attended ISTE 2017 in San Antonio, TX – along with about 20,000 other attendees – and learned a great deal from them myself.
One of the most talked about products that Konica Minolta showed was The Receptionist for iPad, our simple visitor management system that, among other things, greatly helps schools manage their visitor flow, capture photos and print badges for them. A number of attendees who were interested in it for their school districts touted its ability to easily register and track students and envisioned using it for students who sign in late or sign out early. I informed them about how one of our clients, Ridgeline Academy in Phoenix, Arizona, identified many benefits after purchasing The Receptionist for iPad. The school uses it to replace many large paper-based binders that cluttered the front office desktop – for such tasks as substitute teacher and visitor sign-in. Now, all of that visitor information is automated and simply downloaded into the school’s computer system, rather than having to manually enter the student’s data. The attendees certainly appreciated the degree of time and staff effort that The Receptionist for iPad can save them, along with the reduced errors.
Another solution that received much attention was our Double 2, our telepresence robot that provides a real, physical presence for teachers and students at school via a two-wheeled balancing robot with an attached iPad®. Attendees were amazed at how many students who cannot attend class – whether for a short or extended time period – would greatly benefit from telepresence education and learning. Imagine how much of a child’s education would not be lost simply because they couldn’t be physically present in their school? With robotics in education being such an interesting topic across our society and no longer the stuff of futuristic fiction, it’s wonderful to see and hear how it’s benefiting students of all ages today.
Finally, our Dremel 3D printers and MyStemKits curriculum got much attention as they are vital to the success of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). STEM is and will be all the rage for some time now in the education arena, so 3D printers for education are in high demand at all levels – from K-12 through Higher Education. Relatively new to our product line, Konica Minolta has partnered with Dremel and MyStemKits for offering 3D printers and curricula that adheres to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core and other state standards. This was widely discussed by attendees at our booth.
I wish students could see the enthusiasm of administrators and educators who are searching for effective ways to improve education that I saw. I believe they would appreciate the efforts that these individuals – and companies like Konica Minolta – are making to accomplish that for them. It would be a wonderful lesson for students to learn.