Here are 4 smart ways forward-thinking families, institutions and individuals are demonstrating that telepresence technology isn’t just for grownups:
Exhibit A: Museum Visits Made Accessible & Affordable
San Diego’s Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC), puts children first with programs that utilize Beam to allow kids to explore museums. Their pilot program, the award-winning Museum at Your Fingertips project, helped several Title I schools jettison expensive field trip budgets, complicated transportation and too much time out of the classroom to enrich elementary school students’ education with a visit to the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
And recently, in honor of #MonthofTheMilitaryChild, the BPOC staff tested telepresence on both ends - at the museum and remotely - with military families. Considering that BPOC provides technology support to 17 museums and cultural institutions, we’re hopeful more kids get to make virtual visits to enjoy Balboa Park’s bounty.
Virtual Job Shadowing for Students
New Berlin, Wisconsin’s Middle/High Schools Eisenhower and West Career Days prioritize providing opportunities for students in grades 7-12 to be exposed to a variety of career specialties through classroom presentations given by professionals. We were thrilled to see job shadowing with Northwestern Mutual included the use of Beam to not only make valuable connections, but also to illustrate how telepresence technology supports the remote work options of today -- and tomorrow.
Superhero Saves the Day for Sick Kids
Greg Adler is a corporate attorney by day and a superhero in his spare time. His super power is truly incredible: an accomplished Transformers cosplay artist who disguises himself as the character “Bumblebee,” Adler uses telepresence technology to allow kids that are too sick to leave their beds (i.e. bone marrow transplant recipients with compromised immune systems, cancer patients too weak from chemotherapy), along with their siblings and parents, the chance to visit with the beloved bright yellow hero.
Adler recounts: “Maybe the nicest thing anyone ever said to me was when the mother of a little boy with cancer told me, ‘Thank you for doing this. I hadn’t seen my son smile in months.’”
Homework Help is Always Available
After a busy day at school, kids need mom and dad to not only help wind-down the day, but also to assist with reading and other homework. Take for example Claire and James’ Scott’s UK-based family: when Claire was offered a year-long surgical post in Bordeaux, France, she took it, without compromising her ability to be there when her children needed her most. She Beams in at “Mommybot” from Bordeaux without missing a beat at home, joining the family at dinner, helping her kids with piano lessons and other learning and handling the bedtime ritual.
So easy that even young children can use it, Beam makes remote connections that enrich and expand horizons for kids and their families.