In the digital education of the future there is the vision of seamless virtual and physical access for every home and between each home and the school, as well as its inhabitants such as educators, students and parents. Among the increasing number of available teleteaching tools, the use of telepresence robots (TR) has particular potential. TR can compensate the lack of mobility of students for various reasons (i.e. distant residency, bad weather conditions, disabilities or illness, force majeure conditions such as epidemics) and enables them to study in a social environment, where they can take an active part in the class on a peer 2 peer basis. The technology also enables distant educators from remote areas or other countries to be present in class. Compared to common teleteaching methods such as video conferencing solutions, the advantages lie in the possibility to actively control the robots and thus also to occupy the physical space. Telepresence robots thus not only enhance the feeling of social presence, but also enable interactions with the environment, that are otherwise impossible. The project is concerned with the use of telepresence robots in educational institutions at the upper secondary and higher education levels, such as in classrooms and other (e- )learning settings. In course of TRinE three intellectual outputs will be published: O1 will produce decision support materials, O2 will provide guidelines for the implementation of TR in the context of education, a set of innovative teaching scenarios, as well as a DIY buying-, building- as well as an operating guide. O3 will create an interactive platform, where the results of all intellectual outputs will be published and evaluated using a technology acceptance model. A better understanding of TR and their application in educational settings can be gained from the very few educational institutions in which TR is already a part of everyday life. Amongst them are two islandic institutions, the University of Akureyri, which implemented TR for teachers and students in 2016, and the upper secondary school Menntaskólinn á Tröllaskaga, where the technology is used in secondary education. The project “TRinE - Telepresence Robots in Education” combines these institutions’ rare practical expertise with TR in education with the respective expertise of Danube University Krems / DUK (media pedagogy), University of Macedonia / UOM (elearning methodologies), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology / KIT (virtual presence), University of Akureyri / UoA (teleteaching methods). This composition of the consortium makes it possible to address the challenges and potentials of TR in education, to develop new innovative didactical methods and approaches and make this knowledge accessible to educators, students, parents and other stakeholders. The overall goal is to prepare these target groups for the broad adaptation of TR-based teleteaching practices in secondary education. As knowledge harbour and innovation leader Menntaskólinn á Tröllaskaga can impart their expertise to SMC Verdala, Malta.
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Wernbacher, T.; Pfeiffer, A.; Häfner, P., Buchar; A.; Denk, N.; König, N.; DeRaffaele, C.; Attard, A.; Economides, A.A.; & M. Perifanou (2022). Trine: telepresence robots in education. Proceedings of the 16th annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED) 2022, 16: pp. 6514-6522, IATED
TRINE: Telepresence Robots in Education