Tech Talk Live Blog

Robots Go to School

Geoff Craven

Well now that many schools are just getting back in session, it is time to revisit how we can utilize robot technology to enhance instructional opportunities for our students. Whether it is manufacturing or complicated surgical procedures, these devices are becoming more common place in our daily lives.  So it only makes sense that telepresence robots such as Double Robotics become a viable option for students and faculty to communicate remotely.  Unlike Skype, Zoom, or other types of desktop conferencing, a telepresence robot gives the student mobility and freedom to even turn and ask their classmate a question.  Last year in the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (Central Pennsylvania) region alone there were 4 homebound students that participated in classes every day using these devices.

One particular student caught the interest of the doctors at Geisinger and this fall Geisinger Health Systems will be doing a research project measuring how these devices are contributing to the well-being of children recovering from illness at home or in the hospital.  In addition to measuring how students perform in class with their peers, this study will also measure their pain management and their recovery period against similar students without these devices.  It is the first step in many different uses and benefits of these devices.

In the mid-west several museums now have robots available for student groups to “drive” and accompany a tour guide, and yet other agencies now allow participants to attend professional development sessions remotely using this technology.

As we embark upon another school year, is your district ready to implement this type of technology?  While there are challenges, the rewards are many!

Watch​ how one student was able to use this technology to participate in class from home and interact with her friends and teachers at school.

Geoff Craven has been in Educational Technology for over 34 years.  Geoff’s experience includes supporting a statewide mainframe computer network to helping build regional wide area networks.

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