‘Peyton’s Law’ Paves Way for Remote Classroom Technology Statewide

BALTIMORE—A new program will bring important educational technology to all 24 Maryland school systems.

The Hogan Administration has authorized the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to process $15,000 technology grants for each local school system. The program, a product of Peyton’s Law, which was signed by Governor Larry Hogan in 2017, will provide funds to systems for the purchase of remote classroom technology. The devices will allow students unable to attend class for extended periods to remain connected to their educational programs.

“Education is our top priority, and we believe all students should have access to high-quality instruction and the resources they need to achieve success,” said Governor Hogan. “Through this innovative program, state-of the-art technology will give students facing extended medical challenges the opportunity to remain connected to their school, teachers, and classmates.”

Remote classroom technology gives students with temporary or permanent medical conditions the opportunity to participate in the classroom experience remotely when they may be unable to physically attend school.

“We need our students on track for graduation, and this cutting-edge program provides a pathway for those learners unable to make it to class, said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “I’ve seen this technology in action, and I’m excited by its potential.”

One type of remote classroom device is a 4-foot propeller robot that can be controlled by the home or hospital-bound student to move around the classroom and school. The robot is equipped with a tablet device that communicates with the student’s tablet. An application allows students to operate independently and participate in group and classroom activities, as well as socialize with students and teachers.

The first student in Maryland to use remote classroom technology is believed to be Peyton Walton, a Montgomery County student who used a telepresence robot while she was receiving radiation therapy to treat a rare type of cancer. While the robot Peyton used was paid for by her classmates and community members, the new grant should allow each county to purchase four robots according to fiscal estimates.

MSDE will release funds to local systems this spring.

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at davidhiggins@southernmarylandchronicle.com

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II

© 2019 The Southern Maryland Chronicle. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.