Distance Learning

Sick Connecticut Students Attend Class Via Telepresence Robot

Students too sick to attend class in person at Voluntown Elementary School will now be able to attend class virtually, thanks to a telepresence robot.

The school is using the Kubi, from Revolve Robotics, a $599 stand that holds a tablet and allows users to pan and tilt the device via Web controls, allowing them to track the teacher or other students during class time. The 1.5 pound, 12-inch tall stand is set up on a table by Voluntown Technology Coordinator Jim Ward and student helpers and can also make life easier on the parents and teachers of sick students.

"It takes the burden off families having to get make-up work, having to retake tests, having to schedule a tutor to come to the house," said Roxanne Davidson, a parent whose Voluntown student has a life-threatening illness, in a news report in the Norwich Bulletin. "It takes the burden off teachers. It's more work for them when these kids are missing school all the time."

The school also uses Google Apps for Education, allowing students working from home to collaborate in small groups by working on shared documents with their peers.

"If my son is home for two weeks and is in bed the whole time, he can be present in class without being present in class. Even if he's not able to do all the work, at least he's kind of in on the lesson," Davidson told the Bulletin.

Voluntown Elementary School serves approximately 300 students in grades preK-8. More information is available at voluntownct.org.

Visit revolverobotics.com to learn more about the Kubi.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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