Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Robots Help Remote Learning

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Robots Help Remote Learning

Article excerpt

A study of a pioneering robot-learning course shows that online students who use the innovative robots feel more engaged and connected to the instructor and students in the classroom.

Stationed around the class, each robot has a mounted video screen controlled by the remote user that lets the student pan around the room to see and talk with the instructor and fellow students participating in-person.

The study found that robot learning generally benefits remote students more than traditional videoconferencing, in which multiple students are displayed on a single screen.

Researcher Christine Greenhow said that instead of looking at a screen full of faces as she does with traditional videoconferencing, she can look a robot-learner in the eye (digitally).

"It was such a benefit to have people individually embodied in robot form. I can look right at you and talk to you," Greenhow said.

The technology, Greenhow added, also has implications for telecommuters working remotely and students with disabilities or who are ill. …

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