Technology as a Tool: Applications for School Safety and Gathering

    Among the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic was the transition to online learning. With this came consequences, both social and academic, as students adjust to the new educational format. As we learn more about the virus and work towards vaccinating the general population, many schools have been able to once again open their doors, and in person learning and gathering is once again possible.

    With this exciting news also comes new responsibilities. Keeping students and faculty safe and able to learn more of a priority than ever before. As we work to close the educational gaps and get children caught up academically, it is imperative that classrooms remain a safe place for students to learn. 

    Government pandemic aid given to schools comes with great responsibility. The question remains: how do schools spend these funds in a way that yields the most benefit for schools and students, and promotes further in person learning? An article by SoftBank Robotics takes the stance of allocating these funds towards health and safety. By easing health related concerns that arise in conjunction with schools reopening and various emerging variants, energy can instead be put towards maximizing learning and education. We believe that an enhanced focus on health and safety is key to creating an environment that promotes effective learning for students, and empowers the academic community to be safe in numbers where they learn and earn.

    Investing in health and safety is the next step in safe gathering everywhere, but specifically in schools. Fortunately, there is a plethora of new technologies that make this a feasible goal. The New York State Clean, Green, and Healthy Schools Program has released guidelines on best practices and policies. The first of nine main areas focused on is Indoor air quality,  along with cleaning and maintenance.  With these goals in mind, a device like Softbank Robotics Whiz Autonomous Vacuum is a great solution. Ensuring hallways and classroom floors are cleaned and dust free while allowing other janitorial staff time to focus on sanitizing and disinfecting the school environment, Whiz is a step in the right direction for promoting a successful transition back to in person learning.

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