PLATTSMOUTH – Recently, a student was in a classroom at the Plattsmouth Learning Center of the Southeast Community College, and yet, she was also in a classroom on the Lincoln campus.
She was there in Lincoln through the use of a “robot,” a new technology enabling students to travel throughout the campus even if they can’t physically do it themselves.
“Many students are not able to attend credit classes at a distance due to work or family obligations,” said Holly Carr, coordinator of the Falls City Learning Center in a press release. “The robots enable a classroom experience with the convenience of attending a local learning center.”
The college is using this technology in a pilot program funded by a $120,582 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Students can use one of six robots, three located at the Lincoln campus, the others at the Beatrice campus.
The Plattsmouth student was using a lap top to participate in the Lincoln class, but it can be used on any device that has a camera, even a smartphone, according to Lyn Belitz, coordinator of the Plattsmouth center.
It can also be done from any location, she added.
The robot features a screen showing the student’s face providing a more personal interaction with the teacher and the other students.
It also has wheels allowing the student to go from classroom to classroom.
“It’s opening up more (learning) avenues for students,” Belitz said.