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My student is a robot: How schools manage telepresence experiences for students.


Homebound students, those who can learn but have a serious health issue (e.g. cancer, heart disease, immune deficiency) that prevents physical attendance at school, are now able to go to school using telepresence robots. Telepresence robots are generally video conferencing units on remote-controlled robots. Previous research has shown that using these robots allows homebound students to interact with classmates and teachers as if they are physically present. But, what does this mean for teachers and administrators? We present a qualitative study of 22 teachers and school administrators who worked with telepresent students and 4 who decided against adopting the robot. Our goal was to learn how decisions are made to adopt the robot, what issues arise in its use, and what would make adoption easier. This study contributes new insights on teacher and administrator perspectives on what is needed for effective use of this technology in educational settings.

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