TRinE Story: School Tour with a Telepresence Robot
In this TRinE story, English teacher Anthony La Pusata from Sicily, Italy, shares his experience of conducting school field trips to MTR in Iceland using telepresence robots.
“Hi, I am Anthony La Pusata, a British TEFL English teacher based in Sicily, Italy and over the last four years, I have had the enormous privilege of teaming up with Professor Tryggvi Hrolfsson via the Beam Tele Robots at MTR, Iceland to use English as a lingua franca.
As part of a recurring fifth year student project based around various education systems of the world, we have made it a habit to connect via the Beam Tele Robots so that Tryggvi and/or his students can give us a full-on immersive tour of the MTR school in Iceland and vice versa. Unfortunately, we do not have the Beam robots in our schools, so our tour is conducted via smartphone which is very reductive experience in comparison.
The MTR tour is not considered a virtual tour but thanks to the Tele Robots, it feels more like a real tour of the school as far as we control the robot from Italy and feel very present within the Icelandic school albeit through a screen. It also gives my students an in-depth approach to the use of technology within the school environment, something they are not used to, while also a magnificent communication tool. It is only thanks to the use of Tele Robots that this form of lesson and communication can be held and is highly recommendable.”
Photo Credits: Gísli Kristinsson, Menntaskólinn á Tröllaskaga; Tryggvi Hrólfsson with Anthony La Pusata and students at MTR.
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