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Do you have a child with long-term illness? Or maybe you suffer from one yourself? More than 500 000 European children and youth have a long-term illness that keeps them from participating fully at school. Prolonged school absence can have detrimental health effects and make it challenging for both the school and absent student to keep in regular contact.
The choices of products and services that help alleviate this situation are limited, and there are several criteria that need to be met for a product to provide the necessary support for a child who suffers from long-term illness needs. It has to be safe enough for schools to allow it in their classrooms, it needs to be functional enough to fit into the environment of a school, giving the child a strong feeling of actual presence. It also needs to make the child using it, and the children in the classroom, feel safe and it needs to fill any technical requirement, and be ahead of any technical challenge one might face in a dynamic school environment.
How does AV1 compare with Skype?
The main function of Skype is the two-way video call, which allows the child to see and hear what happens in the classroom, as well as communicate back to them. The issues, however, of Skype in this context are many. Two-way video calls also create pressure on the child, often feeling vulnerable, to show themselves to the class, ultimately raising the bar of use. Skype provides little feeling of presence, both for the user and the students in the classroom. There is no function allowing the user to raise his or her hand, look up and around without the device Skype runs on being moved around by another party. Calls have to be scheduled and set up in advance, giving the user little control of his or her learning, and giving a lot of added work for the teacher. Subsequently, Skype offers no factor that reminds children in the classroom of the person not present, making him or her easy to overlook in the day-to-day situation.
Most importantly, though, every call through Skype goes through Skypes servers, and end-to-end encryption cannot be guaranteed. It's possible to take screenshots and record the video call, all the while there is no guarantee in place that the user is actually the one using it, as ones Skype account is not locked to a specific device, and losing the password makes it possible to log on from anywhere in the world. This is why Skype rarely is used to enable children with long-term illness to stay in school.
Why AV1 is the best alternative for children suffering from involuntary school absence
AV1 is developed for, and user tested with, children with long-term illness. A 5-month pilot test in collaboration with the University of Oslo, Sunnaas Hospital and St. Olavs Hospital, made sure AV1s features are tailored to the needs of children with long-term illnesses:
In contrast to products like KlasseContact, Kubi and VGo, AV1 only offers one-way video streaming. This gives the child an automatic excuse for not wanting to show themselves when ill at home or in the hospital. AV1’s design, human mimicry and expressive movability give the classmates a feeling of their friend being there. Through the functions of the robot, with the child being able to raise their hand, whisper to their closest classmates, express emotions through the eyes of the robot, turning the head 360 degrees and up and down and a passive mode for the low-energy days, the user gets a more life-like and sovereign educational experience. But life at school does not limit itself to the classroom, that's why AV1 is portable, it’s easy to carry around, be it school trips, breaks or after-school visits, and with its long battery life and 4G connection, AV1 works everywhere.
The AV1 app allows the child to log on without the teacher having to accept the call during class, or schedule it in advance. During periods of illness, there is a high uncertainty of the day-to-day shape of the child, which makes planning calls a challenge. This adds to the child feeling empowered and in charge of their own life.
In addition, AV1 is developed specifically for standing in the classroom. AV1 offers an encrypted video stream with no storage of data. No Isolation will never see what happens on a child’s stream, recordings and screenshots are prohibited, and a failure to follow that rule will lead to the user being banned. The child and his or her parents also have to sign a document ensuring that only the child will see the stream. This is because the students in the classroom and the teacher has to be absolutely certain that the student is the only one who sees what happens in the classroom.
AV1 – a product made for children, with children
There is no better option for children with long-term illness than AV1. Competitors meet some, but not all of the requirements needed for an optimal and safe experience. Furthermore, most solutions fail to take into account the way they are perceived by their surroundings, and the reservations the child suffering from a long-term illness might have to display themselves.