Microsoft in Sweden has developed a robotics project that allows teachers in Sweden and China to "swap" places and bring their educative style to children in other cultures.
The Teach Reach project, developed with Stockholm agency Edelman Deportivo, uses Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Skype and Skype Translator equipped robots to connect the classrooms, 7000 km apart. The first teachers to take part are Jonas Hall, teacher in mathematics, physics and astronomy at Rodengymnasiet in Norrtalje, Sweden, and Ms. Xin in Beijing. Ms. Xin has already taught students in a Sweden classroom remotely, and in a few weeks Mr. Hall will teach a class in China.
The initiative is based in Sweden for now, but Microsoft is hoping to roll it out to more countries. Joke Palmkvist, Education Lead at Microsoft Sweden, who is behind the project, said in a statement: "Teachers are under a lot of pressure today. They are supposed to combine a heavy administrational workload while at the same time developing learning that actually shapes the future generation. Teach Reach is a method that makes it possible to focus on exactly that and create that space where technology can break barriers, open up the world and inspire new ways of teaching. So that we can actually give teachers the tools to focus on their passion -- to teach."
It's an interesting idea to come out alongside this recent film we posted from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, highlighting the benefits of human, over A.I., interaction.