EdTech companies emphasize the enhancement of software and technology to provide a better and comprehensive learning environment for students and lessen the burden of teachers. EdTech solutions automate ability assessment and difficulty adjustment to lead to better outcomes for distance learning programs and classrooms alike.
Established in 1953, AVID Products, Inc. is a 100% employee-owned, small business, EdTech company whose mission is to enhance life’s experiences in meaningful and sustainable ways through daily interactions, value-based products, and service solutions.
The company was founded in Providence, Rhode Island, by Albert C. Allen, and its name is an acronym for Audio Visual Instructional Device. It was started as an initiative to develop audio products for both home and commercial use, with a special focus on the aviation sector.
In 1961, AVID collaborated with TWA and designed the first in-flight entertainment headset for commercial airline passengers. Just ten years after its establishment, AVID started producing headphones for in-flight entertainment for nearly 97 percent of the world’s airlines.
Throughout the seventies, the company focused on expanding and becoming a renowned name in the education, healthcare, and fitness sectors and emerged with remarkable success.
In 2017, AVID became a 100 percent employee-owned company. Today, the accomplished team continues to build on its identity by focusing on core values, marketing, and a staunch commitment to community outreach programs and green initiatives. The company’s legacy of innovation remains at the heart of AVID’s mission to date.
The headsets and other audio solutions developed by the company play an instrumental role in improving student connectivity, attention, engagement, and overall success in remote, hybrid, and classroom learning situations.
Digital equality and accessibility across all socioeconomic levels are being addressed at Federal, State, and local levels in the United States. The extraordinary demand for EdTech products and solutions such as headsets and computers for every student (referred to as “1 to 1”) is being supported by targeted funding at all levels of the K-12 ecosystem (both public and private sectors). The scope for these products has even broadened to the ‘K-gray’ environment that encourages lifelong learning.
“AVID is addressing these trends by focusing on 1-to-1 connectivity and device availability at the school district scale. “
“The COVID-19 pandemic has enabled us to accentuate the quality and effectiveness of our products to enhance engagement and performance with noise-canceling technology, clear sound quality, and the timeliness of supply.”, says Tom Finn, the CEO, and Employee Owner of the company.
Building on the foundation of its award-winning products, which have long been recognized as pioneers in the total value equation, the company has dramatically increased its production capacity, nearly ten times, year-over-year. AVID Products has also seamlessly orchestrated its supply chain to ensure availability even when volumes and speed surge unexpectedly.
All this has been possible with a combination of talent, business process simplification, and the recently implemented ‘AVID 2.0’ digital toolkit. AVID Product’s noise-canceling technology stimulates enhanced student focus, which is especially crucial in remote learning environments, where distractions can interrupt learning. Its products are also renowned for high-quality, clear sound and comfort for prolonged use and durability.
AVID’s AE-55 headset was developed in accordance with the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TEPLAS) and is also compatible with the M-STEP, NEWA, and MAP systems. The headset has set the standard for testing and universal headsets in K-12, with its passive noise reduction, and noise-canceling 270-degree rotatable boom which eliminates the ‘put it on backward’ problem.
AVID’s foundation is build on product innovation and dependability. The team firmly believes that listening is key, and therefore stays up to date on the latest trends and technologies advancements. The company core values are as follows:
Connected, we value our relationships and nurture them with a collaborative spirit that enables us to effectively develop and sustain shared mutual success.
Meaningful Solutions, we are focused employee-owners making purposeful and sustainable decisions with the unwavering intent of bringing mindful products and
services to more people.
Impact, we are socially conscious of the world around us and how our company may contribute in ways that yield positive results for our communities, customers and partners.
Integrity, we are self-aware and consistently approach every situation and all people with transparency, honesty and respect.
Constantly Evolving, we listen to fully understand and embrace continuous learning with agility and resourcefulness for the betterment of ourselves and our company.
AVID Products also collaborates with reputed, industry-specific professionals and end-users to effectively design and curate quality audio products, accessories, and comfort items that are perfected for the targeted markets and environment.
While everyone vies for the top position, AVID focuses on making a positive impact on educators and students throughout the country with innovative and creative approaches that empower employees and owners to enhance product designs and services while bracing themselves for future success. This helps the company thrive over its competitors.
As stated by Finn, “We take great pride in our ability to be that essential connection between education and technology, wherever the learning environment may take place. We remain grounded in our purpose, which is to “enhance life’s experiences.”
“We believe that our “remarkably simple” headsets (everything you need and nothing that you don’t) are what positions AVID as a leader in our quest to provide quality products and experiences to more people.”
Another crucial factor that helps AVID serve its partners and customers better is its digital transformation. Over the past year and inspired by COVID-19 challenges, the company’s employee-owners have aggressively embraced technology and the myriad of benefits it offers to partners and customers in terms of enhancing experience.
The early disruptive phase of COVID-19 driven school closures stressed the need for unprecedented speed and resourcefulness to connect children with tools that would help them study from home. The tools needed to be accessible and of great value in terms of performance, durability, quality, compatibility, and safety.
The transitional period challenged educators, students, and their families as they had to navigate school reopening in an uncertain environment. The third phase of the pandemic encouraged all educators and students to ‘reimagine’ student connectivity and ultimately thrive through ambiguity and change. There was also an unprecedented focus and investment from the federal government in response to the obstacles faced by the educational system and reopening plans.
These challenges inspired AVID to invest in increasing production and align its K-12 solutions to suit the needs of all students throughout their academic life. The company’s universal headsets played an instrumental role in driving the change to a better digital future for the educational sector.
“In 2020, we connected millions of students wherever they were to the learning and developmental experience which all children critically require and deserve. Having increased supply by order of magnitude from March to August 2020, we were able to satisfy numerous short lead times and school district-scale requirements on time for schools to reopen.”, says Finn.
In fact, in 2020, AVID and its channel partners successfully connected more than four million students with educational tools such as headphones, earbuds, and headsets, across the globe. In the extraordinary time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company supported and remained committed to providing students with a fulfilling and uninterrupted educational experience, no matter where their classroom was.
AVID’s plans for the future include continuing to design effective solutions specifically for education uses and improving the valued connection between learning and technology at all grade levels, for all students and educators.
In line with this vision, the company is all set to launch its 70 Series AE-75 headset in mid-2021 to cater to the needs of older students, like those in high school. AVID will also launch another option for younger K-2 students in late 2021. These new products are aimed at rounding out the full journey of the student spectrum.
It will also continue to invest in a cloud-based Digital Ecosystem, which targets and enhances its partners’ experience and maximizes speed, efficiency, and real-time responsiveness to the EdTech market.
AVID’s commitment to learning is about helping communities prosper. The company partnered with Project Headphones, a program led by a parent to obtain headsets for public school students for their school district, Arlington.
The company continued its dedication to connecting students for success by providing them with a top-of-the-line and reliable AE-36 headset model. It is equipped with noise-reducing ear cups, and an adjustable boom microphone specifically designed for education and is ideal for virtual learning. Project Headphones not only successfully met its goal but also surpassed it.
When distance learning was implemented across the U.S., AVID Products moved quickly to assist parents in getting additional, high-quality, and appropriate online resources for their children by partnering with an award-winning content provider. The company also worked with a certified AVID reseller, to offer a free, three-month subscription to an all-in-one app that features fun and entertaining games, videos, and books for children.
Historically renowned for its technology leadership, AVID was recently recognized as Best of Show at the International Society for Technology in Education conference (ISTE20) and as “Best Remote & Blended Learning Tools” by Tech & Learning in 2021.
Since it was founded nearly 68 years ago, AVID Products, with its rich history of developing remarkably simple solutions that enhance life’s experiences, has blossomed into a leading provider of EdTech solutions. The company’s socially conscious audio and comfort products are unparalleled in quality, innovation, and value.
Enabled by its digital supply chain and logistics processes, AVID has been and remains a leader in the availability and timely supply of critically needed EdTech tools. The company continues to raise the bar with its acclaimed audio products and a digitally transformed business model.