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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Katen taking college class via robot | Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Through learning centers and distance learning programs, Southeast Community College puts a lot of effort into reaching out to students, some of whom can’t make it to the campus at Lincoln, Beatrice or Milford, according to Kirt Manion, Senior Writer at GateHouse Media.

SCC Class by Robot

The latest effort—taking class via robot.

Cassie Katen, a senior home-schooled high school student from Nebraska City, is already getting some college experience thanks to a robotic presence on the Beatrice campus.

Katen, a future business administration student in the collegiate world, is taking a college level English class through a program at the Nebraska City Distance Learning Center at SCC at 819 Central Ave.

Tammy Atha, Katen’s instructor, said she remembers getting the notification that she would have a robot student in class.

At first, Atha admits the idea of teaching to a robot presence was intimidating...

SCC Robots
The robot program is funded through a Rural Development Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. SCC was awarded $120,582. So far, six learning center students have taken advantage of the program at the Lincoln and Beatrice campuses.

Christopher Cummins, director of Instructional Technology and Virtual Learning at SCC, tested the robots prior to the start of classes. He says overall it’s been a success with some minor issues.

“The robot is designed to take some punishment, so it’s pretty sturdy,” Cummins said. “We had a (robot) student fall over in class. The camera fell off and the student’s view was in portrait mode until they put the camera back on. One of the students just picked her back up. Students in the classrooms and in the halls are constantly snapping selfies or wishing the student ‘good luck’ on their way to class. It’s been very positive.“ 

Source: Syracuse Journal-Democrat and Nebraska City News Press Channel (YouTube)