Robotics is developing by leaps and bounds and is being actively implemented in our lives. It is possible that future generations, who are now still schoolchildren, will have to live and work side by side with high-tech robots. That is why the introduction of machines into the general education system is becoming increasingly urgent.
For example, in South Korea, robots are already completely replacing English teachers, teaching entire classrooms. And in Alaska, some smart machines free teachers from physical presence in the classroom.
The city of Masan began hiring smart machines to teach children English back in 2010.
Right now, robots work under human supervision, but in a few years, as technology advances, they are promised to be given more freedom.
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Nao – a math teacher
His teaching career began in 2012 at an elementary school in Birmingham, England. Now he’s at a school in Harlem, helping students develop their math skills. He can recognize different languages and reproduce speech. Nao doesn’t solve problems – it just gives hints that help students find the right solutions.
Nao’s robot also helps develop social skills in children with autism. The robot is assigned to play with children with mental retardation.
VGo robot – the scourge of truants
Distance learning is becoming even more widely available. Leading universities start introducing distance learning before the pandemic but now it’s even more relevant. Modern technology is developing this form of education by leaps and bounds. With the help of a robot “representative”, the student has the opportunity to attend classes at any educational institution in the world. This robot can move around the classroom by remote control and broadcast the image and voice of the student. Moreover, it can be used as an interactive blackboard. Thus it creates the effect of a student’s presence in the classroom. This technology allows high-quality education in a wide range of specialties for those students who live in remote and sparsely populated areas. Robots “representatives” of VGo at the moment cost about $ 2000 and not all parents of gifted students can afford it. With the help of this robot, students cannot skip classes at school, even in case of illness or injury. However, given the development of modern technology, these robots are expected to be widely used in the next 5 years!
On Kodiak Island, Alaska, teachers video chat with their students using telepresence robots that have an iPad instead of their heads. Certainly cheaper than sending a whole staff of teachers to the island.
And finally, robots are being actively used in distance education, which is becoming increasingly common and popular.
The HOBOT-168 is a versatile teaching assistant. It is the world’s first multi-functional robot that can clean windows, walls, and the floor or wipe the blackboard. The Hobot-168 is extremely easy to operate and is equipped with vacuum motors for all cleaning tasks.
BUT ITS NOT JUST A GAME
As Francesco Mondada says, the main challenge now is also to ‘show teachers and students in practice that the robot is not a toy, but an element of technical equipment for the educational process, just like a video projector or a slate on the wall. At the moment, robots in schools are simply played with, instead of being used as a tool for learning and memorizing basic concepts’.
The robot will be effective in learning only when methodologists and teachers, and then the students, understand the potential of this kind of technology. That is the purpose for which F. Mondada developed the Thymio mini robot. It is very easy to program and can be a guide for children to the world of robotics, computer science, and programming. The supertask is to help students lay the foundations of just the so far scarce “computational thinking” in their minds. Only by realizing and mastering this methodological turn will teachers be able to use robots to motivate and interest children in learning.
When this future seems so far, now we have other tools that help with programming homework, write an informative essay or do your finance homework, for example. Actually, these services can be useful for those who are seeking information, need a high-quality paper, or just wanted to learn more.
However, there is still quite a ‘gap between the purely scientific methodological realm and the practical methods of teaching and learning, says F. Mondada.