One negative thing about devotion to a job is that you don’t often pay much attention to other professions. One of my summer assignments is to examine other professions. I would like to see exactly what I am teaching that will impact my students’ careers. Since I am married to a man in medicine, and we just had a conversation about advances in remote medicine, I’ll start here.
“InTouch Technologies focuses on remote presence telehealth solutions, including its Remote Presence RP-7 robot, a full-featured remote presence platform for multiple medical specialties. Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa., for example, uses the RP-7 robot to connect four rural hospital systems and improves patient care in remote areas of northwestern Pennsylvania, western New York, and eastern Ohio, and to support the cardiology services it provides to 14 prisons in the state.InTouch’s robot-based solution has increased collaboration, enhanced patient care and built relationships among medical professionals, according to the hospital, which estimated about 90% of patients have not been to the hospital.” Source: 12 Advances in Medical Robots
We live in a community of 16,000 with two local hospitals. The one where my husband works has a remote presence robot connected with specialists at Washington University for neuroscience and child psychology. These are two areas of medicine that recruitment to the hospital cannot meet, so this is best described as outsourcing critical care. But not just any critical care resource, because Wash U is a world-leading medical research university.
So, let’s examine the use of robotics to my school’s curriculum and methodology (be aware I do not teach engineering):
- Collaboration in distance learning Our participation in Global Virtual Classroom has a direct impact on remote learning. We research with two other classrooms in the world and develop a website based on our topic. Our students are comfortable meeting other students and teachers somewhere else in the world. This ease and comfort through experience can have a direct impact on how quickly our students acclimate to jobs requiring remote collaboration.
- Online coursework What we can’t offer f2f at our school, we can provide. Our online courses and connection to other schools, plus open content provided by experts in their field, is paralleled.
- Synchronous and asynchronous dialogue Our students are accustomed to working in synchronous and asynchronous environments and platforms with their LMS, Skyping, and emailing capabilities.
What are we developing at our school? Communication and collaboration experiences beyond the f2f in traditional classrooms. These experiences deflate anxiety and give our students confidence in using technology tools and their communicative abilities.