A school in South Carolina recently introduced a robot named Milo into classrooms.
Two-foot-tall and ready to talk, the school is testing whether or not Milo, and other robots similar to him, can act as a bridge to deeper human connection for autistic children.
Due to the demand for assistive technologies, it’s not just this school that’s testing out the communicative capabilities of robots, but thousands of other teachers around the world who have chosen to tighten the gap between man and machine.
Here are three that stand out for their ingenious and systematic thinking:
1. Blurring the lines between reality and robotics
“My 4th-12th grade students didn’t learn in an actual classroom, but rather in an undefined work space, which included the schoolyard farm and a nascent makerspace with a handful of robots.” https://t.co/IovfZzpCo1 #edtechchat #k12
— EdSurge (@EdSurge) October 13, 2018
A science and robotics teacher at The Fulton School, Carrie Wilson Herndon, thought it would be a great idea to make robotics relevant to her students’ lives.
While mentoring them for a local competition, one learner asked, “Can we build a robot that can go outside in the rain and take care of our chickens? I don’t like getting wet!”
After that, she started a discussion with students about creating purpose-built robots that keep neighbourhood foxes far away from chickens and a robot that collects chicken eggs.
Just one of the many modification experiments Herndon encourages, this teacher has blurred the lines between reality and robotics by enabling ideas to prosper outside the classroom.
2. Coding a robotic path
— Susan Prabulos (@fabprab) May 15, 2018
Passionate about students and teachers embracing technology in the classroom to enhance learning exercises and creativity, K–5 teacher Susan Prabulos uses her blog as a knowledge-sharing platform to inspire others.
Using Dash the robot, students are often asked to code him to navigate certain shapes and angles, testing both the robot’s ability to get around the children’s ability to code.
Not only does this amplify the use of tech-based facilities in the classroom, it also trains the minds of learners and prepares them for hybrid workforces between AI and humanity.
3. Building functioning robots
So proud of these 5th graders! They built these robots from the ground up AND they all worked when we tested them today. Pure joy in their faces when they drove them around the classroom. #WeAreLR @LRUEWildcats @PLTWorg #weareapltwschool #determination pic.twitter.com/OUY8zA6cwR
— Taylor Blankenship (@BlankenshipLRUE) March 18, 2019
This school buys its robotic equipment in bulk and get students to build the robots themselves (well, with a little assistance of course!).
By stimulating K12 learners to take control of their coding and construct a robot from the ground up, the school is dramatically improving their tech skills and refining their entrepreneurial edge.
The future is robotic – including the future of education.
So why shouldn’t primary school and secondary school institutions level-up their students’ understanding with coding and tech lessons?