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Using robotics to connect remote learners

robot-class-1-greenhow.jpg
MSU

Researchers at Michigan State University have come up with a way to help "distance learners" get more engaged in the classroom.

More and more students are sitting at home using a computer to connect with teachers and their classmates. But many feel disconnected.  

Christine Greenhow is an MSU associate professor of educational psychology and educational technology. She’s been experimenting with using robots to establish connections between students and instructors.

Greenhow says students are able to move their screens to directly look at others in the classroom.  

“When we look at students participating in this online course that were on campus, they felt more connected to their colleagues,” says Greenhow.

Greenhow says the next step is to see if more engaged distance learners also score better on tests.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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