In October we co-hosted a webinar with Zoom and the US Distance Learning Association (USDLA) featuring Michael Griffith of the University of Arizona. Michael Griffith, the Director of Instructional and Learning Technologies at the University of Arizona College of Education talks about their successful deployment of Kubi for distance learning to support student success and retention. He shares about how Kubis are being used in 13 courses in the Fall Semester of 2016 and how Kubi adapts to various learning pedagogies in any classroom. Watch the recording below.
I spent 2 days at the Colorado Learning and Teaching Technology Conference (COLTT 2015) and I learned a lot about how Kubis are being used and can be used in higher education for distance learning. I wanted to share what I learned with the community to help you figure out how you can use it on your campus. Here is a summary:
- Kubi is best suited for synchronous hybrid courses where there are both in-person and remote/online students. See how Michigan State uses it for their Hybrid Courses in this video: revolverobotics.com/msu.
- Additionally, Kubi has many other potential applications in higher education including remote teaching, coaching, telemedicine, staff collaboration, test proctoring, lab supervision, office hours, professional development, tutoring, and study groups to name a few
Why use Kubi
- Kubis allow any remote student to have a presence and participate in class
- Kubis help to deliver a comparable learning experience for in-person and remote students
- Kubi allows remote students to focus on learning and minimize the cognitive load required to operate technology
Guidelines for using use Kubi in Higher Education
- Selecting where to place the Kubis is important for interaction. It is desirable to place the Kubis in locations where they can be close enough to see instructor, the whiteboard and any projected information. And, its desirable to have visibility to turn to see other students in the classroom.
- Audio is the most important part of making the experience good for both sides. The use of a directional microphone in conjunction with an amplified speaker can greatly enhance the 2 way communication. If the room is too large for a simple microphone and amplified speaker, then it is desirable to have a dedicated audio conference line that the remote students join that is directly connected to the room PA system.
- It is suggested to request remote students to mute when they are not speaking so that they are not a disruption to the classroom if they have background noise (which they will).
- It’s important to make the remote students not feel that they are at a disadvantage although they are not in the classroom. The remote students should feel comfortable to participate and ask questions.
- It is necessary for instructor to periodically acknowledge and confirm that remote students can see and hear everything they need and establish an appropriate way to ‘interrupt’ if they have a problem
- Test connections before class starts (speed test, audio, etc).
- Start the class with an ice breaker to give all remote participants a situation awareness of the room, save views and test their audio and video connection.
- A concern that was brought up was whether the motion of Kubi would be distracting to in-person students. Our thought is that when a student first tests and realize that they have the ability to look around that they will make movements that may not make sense to those in the classroom, but as they get more used to controlling Kubi, they will move when the focus of the conversation moves and it will be natural for the in-person students.
To schedule a Kubi demo or to request a loaner to try out at your college or university, click here
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:
To learn more about KUBI, or to purchase KUBI Click Here.
If you have questions for the Revolve team, would like to schedule a demo, or learn more about how KUBI is being used in education, please CONTACT US.
Mobile telepresence is creating endless opportunities for remote collaboration. What used to be confined to boardrooms and designated meeting spaces is now possible from almost any location. We designed KUBI as a portable communication tool that works hand in hand with mobile devices to enhance the user experience on either end of the call. But KUBI’s usefulness is not limited to the conference room. Here are just a few unique ways KUBI is already being implemented outside tablet videoconferencing:
1. “Always Available” portal
An early application we explored with KUBI which has become vital to daily operations at Revolve is the “always available” collaboration portal. The concept is simple: keep a KUBI in a central office location with a constantly running video feed. Remote workers can enter and exit the video meeting to communicate with team members here in the office right on the spot. Impromptu discussions and ad-hoc meetings are the norm for a startup business like ours, and we’ve found that having an “always available” portal extends the spirit of spontaneous creativity and collaboration beyond the office walls.
We use KUBI for this purpose on a daily basis to connect with our Sales Manager on the East Coast and even a marketing team member who relocated Puerto Rico for the summer! The ability to remotely control pan and tilt camera function has been a real time saver. With a KUBI placed in the middle of our workspace, our remote employees can be face to face with anyone on our local team within a few mouse clicks!
2. Improved Medical Care at Lower Costs
One of our customers, a prominent healthcare provider on the West coast, is investigating several avenues for using KUBI to improve the quality of care they can provide to patients. Some of the uses they are currently exploring include:
Video Interpreters – In hospitals with a diverse patient base, language barriers often make clear communication between doctors, patients and family members difficult. KUBI used in conjunction with off site language interpretation services could allow doctors to transcend those language barriers and give more personal care to patients and their families.
In Home Care – In certain cases, patients could take a KUBI home to reduce the extent of their hospital stay, or eliminate the need for a stay completely. Doctors and nurses could use KUBI to check in on the patient, give them specific instructions regarding medication and dosage, or gain valuable information about the patient’s living situation that might prove helpful during in-person visits.
There are other companies developing medical specific telepresence kits and take home devices for remote patient monitoring and communication, and we are not arguing that KUBI could replace the need for medical equipment or in-person doctor patient communication. However, under certain circumstances KUBI could provide an affordable and convenient alternative. It does not require special hardware or software installation and works with tablets, which most patients and doctors are familiar with.
3. Teaching and Remote Learning
We have several customers actively testing our Hacker Edition KUBI units in learning environments. Telepresence has already become a potent tool for education, but KUBI takes the interaction beyond simple videoconferencing, bringing a measure of control that allows for close observation by professors and more meaningful communication with students.
In one scenario, a KUBI placed beside a lab bench in a chemistry class would allow the professor to monitor and assist students with their lab work remotely. This would not only benefit an on site professor, who might otherwise be scrambling between students to answer simple questions, but it would give students more face to face time with their teacher.
KUBI also opens up the opportunity for students to communicate with guest professors from other institutions. This model–far from being limited to lab benches–would give students access to high level education even if the closest University is hundreds of miles away.
In this post we’ve highlighted just a handful different ways KUBI can be used beyond business meetings, but there are so many more! If you have found a unique use for KUBI that we haven’t mentioned, the Revolve team would love to hear about it!
Contact us today to tell your story!