The Power of Robotic Telepresence Through Distant Education

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January 30, 2013 by mgontovn

Through the years technology has vastly improved lives, created more jobs, made things easier, and so much more. There have been many positives, along with negatives on the impact on our society and humanity. I believe technology has impacted majority of people’s lives and is an ever growing entity. We as human’s continue to go beyond any expectations and the reality is, anything seems possible.

The topic of discussion stems from a commercial I saw while watching television on a sunny afternoon. VGo Robotic Telepresence, “Enriching the education experience and expanding horizons for children everywhere.”

Before I go any further take a look at the commercial I am currently discussing:

I found this truly to be an extremely powerful commercial that has the ability to create an entire new meaning to video conferencing and overall telecommunication. The company behind this amazing new technological advancement is VGo Communications. They develop and market robotic telepresence solutions for healthcare, education, and the workplace. This new technology goes way beyond just standard video conferencing purposes, and into the educational stream as well.

Is public education coming to an end?

Just a typical school day

An interesting article I read dates back to    2010, a few years ago, where the discussion revolves around open-learning and cyber charter schools. There are approximately 40 states in America that have adopted this learning philosophy with a total of 5,000 charter schools across the country. Critics have claimed that there are two major issues with this new educational paradigm shift.

The first major problem is that it is difficult, if not impossible, for these cyber private schools to enable a comparable educational system to that of a standard school. Providing the same quality of education similar to any other institution seems subtle at best. However, the education system currently offers a one-size-fits-all dynamic and does not induce creativity. Students engage in an in-class learning environment with their peers and teacher, but “cyber charter education is the solution for students who are under-stimulated, overlooked, or face disciplinary and/or health issues that a lot of kids face.”

The other major problem that stems from this issue is that the cyber school’s have to meet the same standards as general public school’s. Claims are made such as well kids won’t pay attention and it doesn’t institute an engaging experience. But isn’t this already occurring all over the world today? Kids are consistently either bored or un-interested in an active learning environment. We need to start making a change, a difference, so that students can be part of a new active, creative, and an enticing new development in education.

Some features of the VGo product include:

The upper body of the VGo

  • 6 hour battery life, which can be extended to 12 hours
  • The VGo App (up to 20 people can use the app and are able to communicate)
  • 6′ LCD screen
  • Embedded WiFi
  • 4 Microphones that picks up what you need to hear
  • Automatic or tilting camera
  • Touchpad for setup and local control

The lower body of the VGo

  • 2 independent controlled wheels
  • Headlights for lighting the way in the dark
  • Lower speaker for full sound

However amazing this product may seem to be it does come with a hefty price tag. The current market price is $6,000 per unit with all the features included. It may seem like an expensive investment, but the opportunity this can create will forever change how we as humans can connect with one another.

One last final video that I found on the Verizon website under the innovation stories section that digs a little deeper into the product

To Conclude

This is such an inspirational story that can change, if not, millions of lives everywhere around the world, in all aspects of many sectors such as telecommunications, healthcare, and of course education. Students can prosper in school and feel engaged as a result. Overall, this technology is brand new and will take many years to become part of the ‘norm’. Being able to implement this technology into classrooms can vastly change the course of many students out there, and this could not come soon enough!

Works Cited

“Verizon Innovation Stories.” Powerful Answers by Verizon. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2013.

“VGo Robotic Telepresence for Healthcare, Education and Business.” VGo Robotic Telepresence for Healthcare, Education and Business. VGo Communications, Inc, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2013.

Weintana, Abraha. “Cyber Charter Schools: The End of Public Education.” Madamenoire. N.p., 22 Nov. 2010. Web. 29 Jan. 2013.

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