Edtech is experiencing a renaissance driven by necessity. Ten years ago, it was not common to see a director of technology in an elementary school, let alone a technology integration specialist. Times are changing. Global pandemic has created an urgent need for better edtech solutions in our schools due to increased awareness of student and staff health and wellness.
Technology teams in schools partner with edtech companies to bring cutting-edge technology into the classroom, providing real-time solutions to long-term challenges. In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Preventionin 2013–2015, 3.9 percent of boys and 4.3 percent of girls missed more than 10 school days in a 12-month period due to illness or injury. Traditional tutoring only gets these students 4-5 hours of homework, while telepresence can give those same kids 30-40 hours of classroom instruction. Advances in edtech are helping kids stay connected at school, even in these uncertain times.
At the beginning of the pandemic, most children did not participate in virtual classrooms. Walking into a virtual classroom was unheard of. Many did not have proper internet access or even a tablet or other device to go online. Many children are now experts in virtual technology. Schools provide devices to access classroom materials from home, and many have instant remote plans that can take them from in-person to virtual almost immediately.
Times have changed, and school districts have changed with them. The pandemic has quickly reminded us all that face-to-face communication is an important part of communication. The loss of this aspect of interaction has affected many during the pandemic, but it is a much longer-term problem than just the last two years. Immune-compromised children were dealing with the less positive side of virtual learning long before the pandemic hit.
Not only do children face academic underachievement when they miss school, but friendships are also disrupted, and many suffer from increased anxiety or even become vulnerable to other stressors or secondary illnesses. Thanks to technology companies partnering with schools to make distance learning successful, telepresence robots offer real-time solutions to such problems and have a very positive impact on these children.