From DSC:

  • What if you want to allow some remote students to come on into your face-to-face classroom?
  • What if you want to allow those remote students to be seen and communicated with at eye level?
  • What if you want Remote Student A to join Group 1, and Remote Student B to join Group 2?

Well…how about using one of these devices  in order to do so!


New video collaboration robot: TelePresence gets moving — from by Dave Evans


That is why Cisco’s new joint effort with iRobot—demonstrated publicly this week for the first time—is so exciting: We’ve created a mobile Cisco TelePresence unit that brings collaboration to you—or, conversely, brings you to wherever you need to collaborate. Called iRobot Ava 500, this high-definition video collaboration robot combines Cisco TelePresence with iRobot’s mobility and self-navigation capabilities, enabling freedom of movement and spontaneous interactions with people thousands of miles away.



iRobot Ava™ 500 Video Collaboration Robot — published on Jun 10, 2013
iRobot and Cisco have teamed to bring the Ava 500 video collaboration robot to market. The robot blends iRobot’s autonomous navigation with Cisco’s TelePresence to enable people working off-site to participate in meetings and presentations where movement and location spontaneity are important. The new robot is also designed to enable mobile visual access to manufacturing facilities, laboratories, customer experience centers and other remote facilities.



Double Robotics Double



MantaroBot™ TeleMe




From Attack of the Telepresence Robots! — from BYTE  by Rick Lehrbaum





MantaroBot “TeleMe” VGo Communications “VGo” Anybots “QB” Suitable Technologies “Beam”




RP-7i Remote Presence Robot


Also see:


From DSC: Expectations, today, are getting hard to beat

Since Apple’s event yesterday, I’ve heard some conversations on the radio and reviewed several blog postings and articles about Apple’s announcements…many with a sense of let down (and some with the usual critical viewpoints by the backseat drivers out there who have never tried to invent anything, but who sure like to find fault with everyone else’s inventions and innovations).

It made me reflect on how high our expectations are becoming these days!  It wasn’t enough that iCloud is coming on 10/12 (and who knows the directions that will take society in). It wasn’t enough to introduce some serious software-based innovations such as Siri (which bring some significant advancements in the world of artificial intelligence) or AirPlay for the iPhone.  It wasn’t enough to enter into the multi-billion dollar card industry with their new Cards app for the iPhone.  Wow…tough crowd.

What might these announcements — and expectations — mean for education? 
Well…I can see intelligent tutoring, intelligent agents, machine-to-machine communications, the continued growth of mobile learning, learning from the living room, the initiation of programs/events caused by changes in one’s location, continued convergence of the television/computer/telephone, continued use of videoconferencing on handheld devices, cloud-based textbooks/apps, and more.


Siri on the iPhone 4S -- October 4, 2011




Disabled bodies, able minds: Giving voice, movement, and independence to the physically challenged — from by Diane Curtis
Assistive technology makes it possible for students without full mobility to participate in class and school activities.

sensory guru

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How to create accessible Microsoft Office files — from The Chronicle by Cory Bohon

Whenever you are creating content for mass consumption (be it students, co-workers, or the Web), you should consider the accessibility of what you are creating. For example, if your content has audio, have you created a transcript or captions so that deaf people can access it? If your content has important visual information, have you formatted this information in a way that is compatible with the assistive technology used by people who are blind or have low vision?

Computer ties human as they square off on ‘Jeopardy!’ — from


IBM's Watson computer is competing against former champs Ken Jennings, left, and Brad Rutter on "Jeopardy!" this week.

.From DSC:
To be clear, I celebrate what the LORD has created and given to us in our amazingly-complex minds! I do not subscribe to the idea that robots are better than humans or that technologies are to be glorified and that technologies will save the world — not at all. (In fact, I have some concerns about the havoc that could easily occur if certain technologies wound up in the wrong hands — with those who have no fear of the LORD and who have massive amounts of pride…with hearts of stone.)

Getting back to my point…
The phenomenon that Christensen, Horn, and Johnson describe in Disrupting Class continues to play out in higher education/K-12. The innovations are mainly happening outside the face-to-face T&L environments.

Also see:

Trends in Ed: 01.19.2011 – High-Tech Help — from EdLab at Teachers College, Columbia University by Angela Lee

Do you think you can survive completing an email, report, or business letter without the help of spell check?

This New York Times article sums up some of the most popular assistive technologies on the market. These tools are not limited to users with learning disabilities, but also extremely popular among general learners.

However, Michael L. Kamil, a consulting professor at the Stanford University School of Education and an expert on adolescent literacy and technology, warns that not every product is going to be useful, so before you spend $100 for a smart pen or $300 for an electronic learner, you should consult with the professional who has evaluated your learning ability.

Below is some of the most popular assistive technology we use today…

From the NYT article, for more information, see:

  • “Assistive Technology: A Parent’s Guide,” by Marshall H. Raskind and Kristin Stanberry. A downloadable PDF with worksheet helps parents match technologies.
  • CALL Scotland, a unit within the University of Edinburgh’s education school. (CALL stands for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning.) A Web site with studies and books on assistive technologies:
  • National Center on Universal Design for Learning. A group advocating for products and services useful to all people, including those with disabilities:
  • Digital Text Notes. A blog from Landmark College with regular updates on news about how technology can help people with learning disabilities: /

The human body and mind is amazingly complex.


From DSC:
Again, my thanks to Mr. Joseph Byerwalter for this amazing item.

How can words describe this? I’m not sure they can…but the words/feeble attempts that come to my mind are:

  • Perseverance
  • Patience
  • Hope
  • Love
  • Success
  • Pain can reach to the heavy depths of human existence
  • Joy can rise up to the highest heavens
  • Look for the invisible, not the visible
  • The human body and mind is amazingly complex
  • The love of a father and mother can be enormously strong and powerful
  • “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”

I stand in awe of families and people like this; they humble me, yet again.

The article behind the above video can be found at:

Special Education Section of iTunes Apps Store


Originally saw this at:
Assistive Technology by Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D

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Guess what? My new word processor is a pen — from Assistive Technology

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Employing adaptive technology for advanced special education (video) – from The Daily Local by Eric Smith (original resource from Ray Schroeder)

Technology allows students to connect with each other across borders, research information in ways never before possible and tackle real-world problems from inside a classroom. But technology is also allowing some students to speak, read and write when those tasks were previously considered an impossibility. “In the last 15 years, the idea of the Internet and digital content has grown so vast, and for people with physical and learning disabilities, it has been transformative,” said David Cattell, the head of assistive technology for the Chester County Intermediate Unit.

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