Elon Kickbox garners recognition in 2018 Horizon Report

The report, which highlights trends, challenges and developments in educational technology, lauded Elon Kickbox as an exemplar project.

Elon Kickbox, a four-year-old program that bolsters the innovative projects of student creators, has been recognized this year as an exemplar project in the 2018 Horizon Report.

The Horizon Report highlights trends, challenges and developments in educational technology and is the product of a decade-long partnership between EDUCAUSE and the New Media Consortium – both organizations with vested interests in the impact of technology on teaching and learning. The Horizon Report is a resource for professors and education leaders nationwide as they determine where to focus in information technology planning and management. An expert panel designated by Horizon selected Kickbox from 100 projects, submitted by universities worldwide.

Since its inception, Elon Kickbox has helped 27 Elon students explore their ideas. Through the initiative, any Elon student with the drive to build something can acquire mentorship, resources and platforms through which to display their projects.

When Malcolm Brown of EDUCAUSE reached out to Elon Technology in search of extraordinary projects for the Horizon Report, Dan Reis, senior instructional technologist for Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT), was quick to submit Kickbox. In the application, Reis described Kickbox as “a semester-long, mini-grant program for students who have an idea, but are not sure where to start.”

“It’s nice to be included in a report that has such name recognition in higher education, like the Horizon Report,” Reis said. “When an organization like EDUCAUSE, who works with universities all across the country, sees something that you’re doing as innovative, it’s pretty cool.”

“[What I liked most about Kickbox] was getting out of my comfort zone and being able to talk to a group of people about my ideas, getting feedback and being held accountable to my goals,” said participant Madeline Reynolds. Kickbox contributors also cited the collaborative nature of Kickbox — students work with faculty and amongst a cohort — as one of its strongest aspects.

As Reis sees it, Kickbox and the Horizon Report feature are the results of teamwork.

“Several TLT staff and many outside of TLT helped create and shape Elon Kickbox. Michael Vaughn and I developed the idea,” Reis said. “The Information Technology department leadership of Christopher Waters, Kelly Reimer and Scott Hildebrand helped smooth out any barriers we ran into. This year, Dawan Stanford helped us tweak in-person meetings to be as useful to students as possible. Not to mention all the faculty and staff who sponsor a Kickbox student and help them progress on their project. It was, and continues to be, a collective effort.”

Applications for the 2019 Kickbox cohort closed Dec. 3. Recipients will be selected and notified in late December. Visit Elon Kickbox to learn more about the program, including a look at past projects.