For this type of advanced technology, the main aim is to scale up the participation rates of those students who are unable to regularly attend physical classes as a result of varying factors such as long-distance, being sick or clashing schedules. When these problems start to impinge on the students’ academic lives, telerobots come to the rescue by easing the school experience for such students.
With the advent of telepresence robotics, students who were previously habituated with the physical classes only approach to learning have to become familiar with the unique challenges of distant learning. It is very hard to discount the presence and contributions of physically present students, and the connectivity provided by telerobotics aims to give virtual students this same sort of presence in class.
A key approach to the provision of excellent classroom connectivity by telerobotics is via their ability to offer several points of view. In higher learning especially, several students are made to interact from all over the world, and students who are very far away might not feel like their perspectives are being truly heard on interesting topics. However, with telerobotics, students can excitedly learn their colleagues’ names and interact with the material more fully.
Another set of people for whom telepresence robots are really beneficial are those students with chronic medical problems that make them take long absences from classes. When these students re-enter the classroom, there is typically little to no support structure put in place for them to succeed. While these students might even be up to date with the learning material and edtech courses, sadly, they rarely have peer support on campus. Telepresence robots can change all that, providing these students with much-needed peer support and friendships a long time before they can be physically present in school.
Notably, because of how much of a stark difference they make in classrooms, the usage of telepresence robots necessitates certain alterations in the classroom- both by students and educators, who now have to get used to other students joining the class from far away – who can also now feel comfortable with sharing their unique viewpoints-, via telepresence robotics. Their impact on the creation of stronger friendships among students, however, cannot be overemphasized.
While they may still be too expensive to afford for most institutions of higher learning, in the future, telepresence robotics is projected to feature in the world of long-distance learning markedly.