Educators are constantly on the lookout for new ways to give students access to better learning opportunities, and video conferencing technology is at the forefront of this quest.
For the past several months, we have been talking with colleges and private educators; all early adopters of KUBI developing new solutions for remote education. With our Hacker Edition units, our customers have been exploring creative and amazing ways to expand educational opportunities for their students. We’ve discovered through these conversations that there are far more ways to use telepresence technology for teaching than we ever imagined!
Stay tuned, because we’ll be adding regular blog installments that highlight and explore the exciting things early KUBI adopters are doing with KUBI and distance learning. For our first installment, we’ll discuss how mid-Atlantic based company FutureMakers is using KUBI to help train a new generation of young creative minds.
FutureMakers founder Matt Barinholtz is all about making stuff. His business, founded in 2010 is dedicated to helping kids reach their creative potential with workshops and classes conducted in libraries, community centers and schools throughout Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia. Matt’s philosophy is that kids naturally crave opportunities to build, experiment and tinker. He created FutureMakers with the objective to connect kids with adult mentors who will help them channel those instincts and develop into the creative minds, builders and innovators of tomorrow.
Matt found KUBI while searching for a video conferencing tool that will allow him and other team members to play a supporting role in classes and workshops, even when they can’t be there in person. FutureMakers currently has instructors–called “coaches”–spread out through 7 locations in the D.C. area and 5 community colleges in Maryland. “There are a lot of great makers out there,” Matt states, “And FutureMakers is there to support their pursuit to become exceptional coaches.” This doesn’t happen overnight, and Matt as well as other head staff are often called upon to provide assistance and feedback for coaches in multiple locations.
The problem is, their time is limited and their range is growing. With limited staff and budget, Matt needed a solution that would allow himself or other experienced staff members to play an active observational role in classes or workshops that might be hundreds or thousands of miles away. A KUBI in the classroom allows Matt and his staff to observe coaches as they interact with kids. “The pan and tilt really allows us to see the whole class and take in everything that is happening so we can provide active support for our coaches.” Matt says. “A static video camera or ipad on a stand just doesn’t provide the level of interaction we need. It would be taking a step backwards.”
While currently FutureMakers uses KUBI as more of an observational support tool, Matt is excited about the possibilities of teaching with KUBI as well. He adds, “KUBI will allow us to connect kids with their peers in other locations who are working on the same kinds of projects so they can share ideas and give each other inspiration.” He also has plans to use KUBI as a portal for special guests or visiting artists to host classes and workshops. Without the expenses of traveling, a remote instructor could set up a camera at their workstation and interact with students through a KUBI at the class location.
FutureMakers is currently actively testing their KUBI Hacker Editions and hope to bring KUBIs into as many of their locations as possible in the near future.
For more information about FutureMakers, please visit their website at:
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