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During a recent trip to Boston, I was lucky enough to catch up with a friend of mine from high school. Our lives have taken wildly divergent paths, and while I've ended up in the collaboration field, he's found himself as an instructor at the United States Military Academy, AKA West Point. Over omlettes in Southie, as the wind whipped through the narrow streets outside, we started to find a place where our viewpoints began to converge: the subject of active learning.
The last two weeks have really been a bit of a whirlwind for me, but they've also been pretty educational. I got the chance to go to Boston for Inbound, the annual marketing conference held by HubSpot, and when I returned, our international marketing team (Nikki from South Africa, Marjorie from Rotterdam) had come to Dallas in order to collectively chart our course in 2017. When it was all said and done, I had a fairly life-shattering revelation: we should really all just agree that email is a pretty bad way to communicate inside our own organizations.
If you're a reader of this blog, you're no doubt aware that I'm something of a sucker for gamified learning. In the past, we covered some fairly specific topics, such using my favorite game, Kerbal Space Program, in your classroom, or how to conduct an "Hour of Code" event. Today, we'll get a bit broader and talk about gamifying your entire classroom.
Sometimes it isn't enough to have a presentation displayed up on the screen. Your screen might be too small, some in your audience could suffer from poor eyesight, or you might just be in a classroom where you need to engage mobile devices in order to keep the attention of your students. Recognizing all of these, plus the fact that it's just handy for your audience to have the ability to view your slides at their leisure, wePresent features a function we call WebSlides. Simply put, WebSlides is the ability to access and view the presentation from any device's browser at your own pace. It's very easy to use, so let's talk about how it works.
We talk a lot about the wePresent's ability to connect up to 64 users together for collaborative efforts, but what does it actually mean to work with that? Moderator control allows a teacher or meeting leader to choose which devices are displayed - up to 4 at a time - from a handy web control panel, meaning you'll be able to work together with your audience, rather than just talking to them. Learning how to use the moderator control panel is easy, and only takes a few minutes to master. Let's take a look.
Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space. -Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Space is still big news, that much hasn't changed. SpaceX recently experienced a string of high-publicity successes with their Falcon reuseable booster, and NASA has recently begun testing Bigelow Aerospace's BEAM inflatable habitats on the International Space Station. Commander Scott Kelly, along with his identical twin brother, Commander Mark Kelly, have both participated in the first experiment to test the effects of long-term space travel on humans, with Scott staying on board the ISS for a year to discover what kinds of hurdles that humanity must jump over to live among the stars.
The ultimate goal in education, pragmatically speaking, is to help kids prepare for the working world. This goal is a little more at the forefront of the educator's mind in higher education than, say, in primary and secondary education, but being that those two stages of education are essentially intended to prepare the student for college, one can extrapolate that they serve essentially the same function. This, more than anything else, is the reason that project-based learning is taking off. The replication of real-world work processes is essential in helping students learn to collaborate and function in the real world.
So how does it work?
As we approach the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, it's time to take a look back at how far we've come in just 365 days. As a startup in an industry filled with giants, we feel like we've done well not just keeping our heads above the water, but outpacing all the slower swimmers. 2016 will be an even more amazing year for us (more on that later), but for now, we felt it would be nice to gloat...er...look back with pride on our successes this year.
However, it wouldn't be possible to do that if it weren't for you guys. Without our customers, without the IT professionals, without the resellers, integrators, and AV gurus, we wouldn't be here today. We're happy to be your wireless presentation solution, and in 2016, we hope to be the solution for a lot more meeting rooms around the world. Wireless collaboration has invaded businesses, schools, churches, and government offices everywhere, and it has the terrible side effect of making us all more productive, more communicative, and more efficient. Thank you for helping us lead the charge against boring slideshows and monotony.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a great war was fought and won for the independence of the galaxy. As we look back through the lense of time, we're offered a unique look at how the Rebel Alliance leveraged teamwork and cooperation over sheer technological strength to achieve victory. But where are the roots of this achievement? How did the Rebel Alliance work together as such a cohesive military?