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How This K-12 School Aced Its Collaboration Challenges With Beam

How This K-12 School Aced Its Collaboration Challenges With Beam

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Beam Brings High School Student to Class While She Fights Cancer

Beam Brings High School Student to Class While She Fights Cancer

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Home is Where the Smart Is: Technology That’s Innovating How We Live

Home is Where the Smart Is: Technology That’s Innovating How We Live

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9 Halloween Costume Ideas to Make Your Beam Boo-tiful

9 Halloween Costume Ideas to Make Your Beam Boo-tiful

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How Beam Helps an RV Manufacturer Drive More Sales

How Beam Helps an RV Manufacturer Drive More Sales

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Beam Changes How OAC Collaborates

BEAM CHANGES HOW OAC COLLABORATES

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Our Corporate Culture of Connection & Collaboration: A Day in the Life of Beam

Our Corporate Culture of Connection & Collaboration: A Day in the Life of Beam

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7 EASY WAYS TO MAKE YOUR BEAM AT HOME

7 Easy Ways to Make Your Beam at Home

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Keeping Families Together - With Beam, You Can Come Home to Mom Again

Keeping Families Together - With Beam, You Can Come Home to Mom Again

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Going Out With a Bang: We Salute “Shelbot” & 12 Years of The Big Bang Theory

Going Out With a Bang: We Salute “Shelbot” & 12 Years of The Big Bang Theory

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Beam Goes Back to School: 4 Academic Ways Telepresence Technology is Changing the Education Experience

Beam Goes Back to School: 4 Academic Ways Telepresence Technology is Changing the Education Experience

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Celebrating Labor Day & How Technology Shapes The Rising Remote Workforce

Celebrating Labor Day & How Technology Shapes The Rising Remote Workforce

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Can Online Learning Compete With Traditional Education?

Can Online Learning Compete With Traditional Education?

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Beam Celebrates Senior Citizens Day

Beam Celebrates Senior Citizens Day

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SunBeam: Highlights from Our Summer Vacation

SunBeam: Highlights from Our Summer Vacation

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“Undesigning Disability:” Creative Insights on Cultural Accessibility & Inclusion

“Undesigning Disability:” Creative Insights on Cultural Accessibility & Inclusion

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5 Ways to Care for Your Telepresence Robot

5 Ways to Care for Your Telepresence Robot

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5 WAYS BEAM ADDS THE WOW FACTOR TO YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

5 Ways Beam Adds the Wow Factor to Your Customer Experience

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UPDATE: Alice Wong Continues in Her Crusade for Disabled Americans

UPDATE: Alice Wong Continues in Her Crusade for Disabled Americans

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World Cup Update: Beam Plays for a Worldwide Team

World Cup Update: Beam Plays for a Worldwide Team

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5 Indispensable Office Tools to Help You Ace Your Productivity

5 Indispensable Office Tools to Help You Ace Your Productivity

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4 Times Beam Helped Kids Make Life-Changing Connections

4 Times Beam Helped Kids Make Life-Changing Connections

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How VMWare Connects Colleagues and Community Members Across the Globe

How VMWare Connects Colleagues and Community Members Across the Globe

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How Technology Makes Life More Accessible for Those With Disabilities

How Technology Makes Life More Accessible for Those With Disabilities

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We Won Two Telly Awards for Our BeamPro 2 video!

We Won Two Telly Awards for Our BeamPro 2 video!

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At OAC Services, Beam is Part of the Team

At OAC Services, Beam is Part of the Team

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CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS: THE LATEST IN EDTECH

Classroom Connections: The Latest in EdTech

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Aging in Place Was Top of Mind at ATA18

Aging in Place Was Top of Mind at ATA18

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Setting the Tone for Innovation: How STEM Leader Carnegie Learning Uses Beams

Setting the Tone for Innovation: How STEM Leader Carnegie Learning Uses Beams

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HOW ONE PHYSICIAN RUNS 4 OFFICES WITH TELEMEDICINE TECH

How One Physician Runs 4 Offices with Telemedicine Tech

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4 Secrets to Being an Effective Remote Leader

4 Secrets to Being an Effective Remote Leader

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The Future of Work Cares Less About Your Age Than Ever Before

The Future of Work Cares Less About Your Age Than Ever Before

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THE WORKPLACE OF THE FUTURE IS ALREADY HERE

The Workplace of the Future is Already Here

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5 Unexpected Ways to Use Beams

5 Unexpected Ways to Use Beams

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A HEALTHY TURNOUT AT HIMSS 2018: OUR FAVORITE MOMENTS

A Healthy Turnout at HIMSS 2018: Our Favorite Moments

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YOUR BRAIN, YOUR CAREER, AND YOUR WORLD - OUR TOP SESSIONS AT SXSW

Your Brain, Your Career, and Your World - Our Top Sessions at SXSW

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The Latest IoT and AI Impacting Health Tech, Wearables

The Latest IoT and AI Impacting Health Tech, Wearables

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Four Unforgettable TED Talks Delivered on Beam  

Four Unforgettable TED Talks Delivered on Beam

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The Latest in Home and Workplace Health Tech

The Latest in Home and Workplace Health Tech

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Long Distance Love Gets a Boost From Beam

Long Distance Love Gets a Boost From Beam

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The Benefits of Being a “Cyborg”

The Benefits of Being a “Cyborg”

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CES 2018 in Pictures: A Successful Debut of the BeamPro 2!

CES 2018 in Pictures: A Successful Debut of the BeamPro 2!

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Now Making Its Debut at CES: The BeamPro 2

Now Making Its Debut at CES: The BeamPro 2

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All Aboard - Getting the Most of The Remote Work Trend

All Aboard - Getting the Most of The Remote Work Trend

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TOP TIPS FOR TACTFUL TELEPRESENCE USE IN TODAY’S WORKPLACE

Top Tips for Tactful Telepresence Use in Today’s Workplace

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Stanbridge University Integrates Telemedicine Robotic Capabilities into its Curriculum

Stanbridge University Integrates Telemedicine Robotic Capabilities into its Curriculum

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Looking for the Perfect Holiday Gift? Beam is Now Available at Microsoft Store

Looking for the Perfect Holiday Gift? Beam is Now Available at Microsoft Store

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Revolutionize Your Huddle Room Game with Telepresence Technology

Revolutionize Your Huddle Room Game with Telepresence Technology

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How Beam Helps an International Branding Company Collaborate

How Beam Helps an International Branding Company Collaborate

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A Heartwarming Halloween Tale: Bumblebee + Beam = Happy Kids

A Heartwarming Halloween Tale: Bumblebee + Beam = Happy Kids

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The Museum at Your Fingertips Project Elevates Student Learning with Beam

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The award-winning Museum at Your Fingertips project, sponsored by San Diego’s Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC) in conjunction with the San Diego Air and Space Museum (SDASM), jettisons the need for field trip budgets, transportation, and large chunks of classroom time while still delivering the myriad benefits of a museum visit.

We recently caught up with Julia Falkowski, BPOC’s web & interactive media producer, to find out more about the project and how Beam-driven virtual tours at SDASM have helped new learning opportunities take flight.

BEAM: What is BPOC, and what’s its connection SDASM?

Julia Falkowski (JF): We’re a small nonprofit that was originally funded to provide technology support – core and digital services – to the organizations in Balboa Park, which includes 17 museums and cultural institutions.

BEAM: How did the Museum at Your Fingertips project come about? And were you familiar with Beam’s telepresence technology before you launched the project?

JF: Our CEO, Nik Honeysett, attended a conference where Suitable Technologies had a booth demonstrating the Beam technology, and he was impressed by the potential applications for what we do. BPOC performed market research to see how the Beam was used in other industries. Then we thought about the ways in which telepresence technology had not yet been tested, such as with students in a museum setting. We realized our idea played well with the Institute for Museum and Library Services Sparks! Ignition Grant for experimental museum programs, so we applied and were awarded the grant.

BEAM: What were the initial goals of the project? How did you design the project to assess if you met your objectives?

JF: We wanted to answer three key questions: What are the technological capabilities and limitations of the Beam? How useful is the device as a learning tool in classrooms? And, is the project replicable in other museums across the country?

The project served seven classrooms (over 100 students, grades three to six) from ten local Title I Schools. While BPOC tested the technological capabilities of Beam, SDASM developed the educational tour and curriculum-related content.

BEAM: What problems does Beam solve for your program that other technology doesn’t?

JF: Other museums had experimented with video chat, but the Beam seemed like a great opportunity to recreate the museum experience in a different way. There’s a big drop-off in field trip funding, especially for Title I schools. It’s both the barrier of money and also time taken out of the classroom. A full field trip takes a whole day, whereas a Beam tour is only an hour. Also, some urban schools do not have access to busses, and the only way to get to the museum is by asking parents to drive – so this helped overcome this challenge as well.

BEAM: How did the students and teachers respond to the Beam?

JF: The students took it up right away and seemed to know what to do, as if it were a videogame interface that they intuitively knew how to work. Teachers received training ahead of time in order to facilitate discussion while driving the Beam. We were impressed with that!

BEAM: What has been some of your favorite reactions to the Museum at Your Fingertips project by students?

JF: The real moment is when they log in and start driving. In the first two or three minutes, they ooh and ahh as it moves around. One student said, “I wish we could be in the museum in person,” which speaks to our wish that this will facilitate curiosity in students and spark their interest in visiting in the future, and from that positive experience, become lifelong museum lovers. It’s a big part of the point of what we’re doing here.

BEAM: Do the Beams have nicknames at this point?

JF: We thought about coming up with a specific name for SDASM’s BEAM, but since there was always a different educator on every tour, that didn’t quite work. However, students immediately wanted to personify the Beam, so we put a flight jacket on it. That worked both for the students and for other museum visitors, too  – the flight jacket started some interesting conversations in the galleries and overall made it a friendlier experience.

 

BEAM: Which features have been the most valuable on your Beam? The visibility, mobility, audio, connectivity?

JF: Because SDASM is an interactive museum, with lots of videos and noises, the “party mode” feature has made it easier for the docent to hear, and then the students can hear better as well. Also, SDASM has many places that look like staging areas of flight decks – including ramps and rough flooring – so mobility is key to accessing every portion of the museum. The Beam’s big wheels navigate the space very well, so there are no issues moving around the space.

BEAM: What awards or special recognition has the The Museum at Your Fingertips project received?

JF: We are involved in a couple of organizations that give out awards at their annual conferences, and we were thrilled to receive a 2017 Silver Media & Technology Muse Award from the American Alliance of Museums and an Honorable Mention in the Education category for the 2017 GLAMi awards from Museums on the Web.

BEAM: Are there any plans for expansion beyond the test schools you’ve served thus far?

JF: We’re working on finding ways to expand the program to other museums in the park. SDASM is a large museum with a sizeable staff comprised of volunteers and paid employees; we’re interested in helping smaller, volunteer-driven museums and are currently applying for additional funding from other sources. Also, after seeing what we did with the Beam at SDASM, The San Diego Museum of Art has borrowed the BPOC Beam and was successful in procuring funding to purchase their own telepresence robot. Their Beam program is now in the works.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

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