“They’re able to participate in activities, just like if they were there, as much as they can possibly be there using two-way cameras on the robot,” said Kip, noting that the program is getting worldwide attention.
Kip personally sets up each robot, resolves any technical issues, facilitates the communication between all involved for each robot, and takes a personal interest in each student and their story. He also attends as many fundraisers for the students as he possibly can on his own time.
Region 6 owns 21 robots for students to use. Robins said that Region 6 has helped 25 students in 17 school districts take part in classroom instruction in the 18 months the program has been in existence. The robots cost between $5,000 and $6,000 each to operate, with many of the operating costs coming from private donations.
In addition to this monumental task, Kip remains the go-to person for Region 6 ESC’s technology. He ensures the equipment is maintained, updated, and set up for sessions - doing much of the work himself, and he provides the majority of the technical support to the districts for distance learning. He also helps districts see the value of and opportunities available with distance learning and video conferencing.
For more details on the Morgan’s Angel Program, see the story featured on the front page of the April 2014 issue of Texas Education Today, published by the Texas Education Agency. Kip also has a YouTube video on the program as well as a Facebook page.
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