Telepresence Helps Universities Connect Virtual Students with Campus Life

Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education, May 19, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is an application of technology I'm not so sure of. The idea is to give virtual students the feeling of actually being on campus. So the the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has set up live video feeds their faces on tablets mounted on top of telepresence robots they remotely move around the stage and auditorium. In another university where the same technology is being implemented, "The professors didn't have to change their curriculum or even touch the robot, and after the first three weeks of use, Mathews didn't need to supervise or be involved." It seems to me that if you're going to spend that much money - the units cost $2400 per - you should mount the on a quadracopter drone and give them real freedom of movement. See also this item.

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