We live in the 21st century where robots can beat you in a round of “rock, paper, scissors”, go into space and even cook your dinner. On the grand scale of things, a small robot in the classroom is less bizarre but robots are still a relatively new and exciting addition to teaching environments. These programmable machines go well beyond teaching merely IT skills and, irrespective of the school subject, robots are exceptional educational tools that help children to develop new skills through experiential learning. Here are some of the benefits robots bring to the classroom:
ROBOTS ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY
Robotics is about practicality. When a robot is introduced to a classroom, students have the opportunity to “learn by doing”. Unlike theoretical methods of teaching, robots allow students to get more involved in the process, learn new concepts and, as we say at Robotical, students can “bring their learning to life!”
Students have the opportunity to dive deep into their imagination and by interacting, brainstorming and problem-solving, these machines create an environment perfect for fostering creativity in students.
ROBOTS ENHANCE ENGAGEMENT
One of the main goals for all educators is ensuring their students retain the information taught. Robots capture the curiosity of students. They are exciting and novel, and so students are fascinated with these controllable machines. Can you blame them? Who isn’t captivated by a moving, grooving machine? When students’ engagement is increased, their overall information retention is improved.
A fear that educators may have is that young people “play” with a toy once or twice before losing interest in the device. However, unlike conventional toys, interactions with robots change over time as the child’s experience and skills develop. Hence, it has been proven that the benefits of robots persist well beyond the initial introduction stage and, in the long run, children are encouraged to work harder.
ROBOTS NURTURE STRUGGLING STUDENTS
Embarrassment is a scary concept for children (and adults). It is common for a child’s educational performance to be hindered as a result of the fear of “looking silly” and making mistakes in front of their peers. This creates a challenge for teachers who are unable to adequately assess the areas where students are struggling.
And that’s where robots come in. Whilst students feel anxious about making mistakes in front of teachers, children have been found to worry less when interacting with robots. Robots are perceived as a friend, less judgemental than teachers, and can help put children at ease. Introducing a robot to a classroom will improve both engagement and confidence, meaning better support for any struggling students.
Furthermore, robots are controlled machines and can be altered for particular scenarios, meaning robots can cater for a child’s specific learning needs by personalising the teaching to support the areas in which a child is struggling.
ROBOTS CAN TEACH CROSS CURRICULAR
You may think that educational robots are only useful for teaching STEM subjects like programming, ICT and engineering. However, robots have been successful at teaching a wide range of skills . So whilst they do teach coding, science, technology and engineering, they can also be used to teach reading, writing, languages and mathematics. But do not fear, robots are not here to replace teachers; rather robots are used to support teachers and should be viewed as learning tools. Robots have even been developed for students to use in classrooms with educational resources and lesson plans aligned to the Australian curriculum, supporting teaching requirements.
Furthermore, robots have the ability to improve metacognitive abilities, such as self-confidence, motivation and task-commitment in students of all ages, with and without special educational needs; essential skills for an efficient and effective learning environment.
ROBOTS BOOST COMMUNICATION AND TEAMWORKING SKILLS
Robotics combines an assortment of skills, creating a learning environment for different people with different talents. Robotics can also create an ideal culture of teamwork. For a robotics project to be a success, it is crucial to work hard, collaborate and help your peers. Getting comfortable working as a team from a young age will prepare students for their future. After all, every area of life involves collaborating with various people of different disciplines.
These are just a few of the many benefits of using educational robots. Now all that’s left to do is jump into the world of robotics and introduce your kids to their brand-new learning buddy.
Content Executive at Robotical.
Robotical’s Marty the Robot is stocked by Lioncrest Education. You can sign up for a free, no-obligation, two-week trial for your school here.