Use of Robotics in Education

 

 

Teachers assisting elementary students in making science project. Innovative team is communicating in classroom. They are preparing toy cars at table.

 

 

What is a robot?

Use of robots in education is increasingly becoming more important each day.

A robot is a machine that may gather information about the environment and use that information and any pre-programmed instructions to complete tasks. Robots are controlled using coding(computer programming) to outline specific instructions and ranges of actions. These tasks could be a very specific set of movements, like cutting a piece of wood to a certain length, or extremely complex instructions that allow the robot to actually learn how to responds in new situations.

There are robots that can gather a variety of information about what is happening around them and then react to that information in fun and educational ways. These robots can be specifically programmed to complete tasks using one app or can be remotely controlled by using another app.

Robotics in early childhood.                                                                                                                                                                              

Why do we need robots in young children’s education today?

Early childhood is a wonderful time to spark a child’s interest in coding, robotics, and engineering. Young children are curious about the world around them, and today that world very much revolves around technology. But how best to promote positive, creative, and educational engagement with technology? Integrating robotics and coding into early childhood education is easier than you may think, with hands-on, screen-free robotic tools.

We are surrounded by technology. Smartphones, video games, automatic doors and much more. But in the early years, children learn very little about how these things work.

Integrating robotics in early childhood education helps the child develop skills in the important STEM(science, technology, engineering,  math) fields. For children in the PRE-K2 age, robotics can introduce them to these important concepts, thereby encouraging them to be excited about further exploration in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

As robotics and computers become increasingly prevalent in student’s lives, understanding programming and programming concepts are becoming very important for student’s success. Robots are a fun, easy, and effective way to learn about computer programming. Programming a robot has tangible, observable effects. Testing the robot’s code can be done in a hands-on way with visual results.

Coding as a playground.

Coding is becoming as fundamental to work, education,  and culture,  as literacy was in earlier centuries. Not every child needs to become a computer programmer, but coding gives children the tools to create and participate in a culture, society, and working world structured by computers.

Research shows that young children can learn concepts of programming and engineering at a very early age. This is possible when children are given tools that are developmentally appropriate, that encourage open-ended play and that allow the integration of technical skills with expressive arts, math, literacy, and cultural explorations.

Young children learn by doing. They learn best by playing with physical objects: by making things, testing things. To learn programming and engineering, they need materials designed in the spirit of traditional learning in early childhood (physical, as opposed to on-screen). Children engage in playful learning, cultivate their curiosity for the technical world, explore problem-solving, and understanding other concepts like cause and effect, programming, sensors, and motors. Play is important in early childhood.

Make it more than “just coding”

 

Robots bring computer science to life.
How do you solve a problem in a structured way? With computational thinking, you model the problem, break it down into smaller sequential steps, invent solutions, and test them out.

When children plan a sequence of actions for certain educational robots, they assemble their program as a line of wooden command blocks. They scan the blocks with the robot’s scanner, one by one, in sequence. When the robot acts out the sequence, children can follow along by referring to the blocks they have scanned.

Young children are naturally curious about the world around them. Today, the world includes technology. As adults, whether educators or parents, we have the responsibility to ensure that children’s exploration of technology is age-appropriate, safe, and creative. The best technology experiences for children are technology playgrounds, filled with creativity, exploration, and social engagement.

Educational theorists have long recognized that young children think and learn the best when moving, playing, building, and engaging with concrete objects. Traditional coding is often screen-based and abstract. But with robotics, children’s code affects the physical world, the robot moves and reacts based on the instructions the children give it.

Working with robotics and coding, especially when facilitated in a classroom, means engaging with the engineering design process. This process encourages children to identify the problem, imagine and plan a solution, build and test their creation, and share their work with peers.

Unlike screen coding, robots let children really see their programs working. Programmable robots provide children with instant, tangible feedback by allowing them to test their work in the real world as they go.

This direct feedback helps children discover and fix any issues as things happen. The combination of robots with coding teaches children critical skills, such as problem-solving and debugging, in an engaging, fun, and effective way.

 

Building logic skills

Computer coding helps teach students how to use and explain their logic. Coding involves making choices: about the best command to use, the best order of events, or the best structure of the code itself. Students can learn to reason through these decisions and be able to defend their choices when explaining their code to others.

Coding also involves teaching logic to the computer. For example: if an action is taken, then a reaction occurs. Students learn how to connect events logically while constructing “if statements” and “while loops.

A Better Learning Experience for All Learning Styles.

Robotics caters to all different learning styles.

Visual learners benefit from seeing the robot moving and matching the robot’s actions to their code. Tactile learners are far more connected to something they can literally get their hands on than just a computer screen. Active learners and children who struggle with focus benefit from the interaction a robot provide over just staring at a monitor.

Programmable robots help children connect with the power of coding.

 

Robots are already all around us.

The world is full of robots. From self-driving cars to articulated manufacturing arms to the Mars Rover, robots of all types are becoming more and more a part of our world. Providing children with a basic understanding of robotics is an important part of developing their technological literacy. Using programmable robots as a learning tool for STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) educational activities provides children with a meaningful connection between what they are learning and the world around them.

Preparing your child for the future.

We are surrounded by computers, smartphones, wearables, video games, GPS- there is a computer in almost everything. Research shows that the future will contain even more digital devices and that an increasing proportion of jobs will be in the tech and tech-related organizations.

Having a strong foundation in coding and technology will be crucial for success in tomorrow’s workforce. Programmable robots empower children with the skill to make computers work for them, opening up a future where they are not only consumers of technology, but the next generation of technology creators.

As technology becomes an ever more important part of our lives, an increasing number of jobs are available that involves writing code and using robotics.

Many jobs in different fields are made easier by using code. For example, scientists who understand statistical programming can quickly calculate results, and engineers who use computer-generated virtual models can view their designs without having to build them.

 

If You have any questions or comments about this post, please leave a comment below, I will get back to you as soon as I can.

18 thoughts on “Use of Robotics in Education”

  1. This is an interesting article about the use of Robots. Robots are fun,easy and effective ways to learn computer programming. Robots can gather information and give response to it. Visual learner benefits from robots moving ,this give helps to children on a learning process, robots is a best ways for child’s learning. This information is helpful. Thanks for the insight 

  2. Thanks for writing this article on use of robots in education.it is a known fact that technology and innovative technology is taking over space of the earth, as the world is moving closer and closer to internet of things.it is essential for kids to know the basics of how this technology comes to place.a robot can be a beginner guide for kids in coding and how to solve some basic logics

    • Thanks ajibola40, I do believe, same as you that technology is going to be very important in our children’s future.

  3. In this century that we are now every child tends to learn more with the aid of ROBOTS’’they teach more faster and it is a unique ways of passing information with this technology called robot more employment had been created and more are still going to be created with it coding has been one of the requirement in a man”s altitude.

  4. Thank you for this lovely and educational post. Truly, kids need to start learning because they love learning from tender age from 5-10 years. Like it or not, we live in the world of technology and it is very cool and important they start learning about it at a young age. But this coding is really way forward and will be very vital for the development and will truly improve their logic skill. kids using robot to learn is a welcome development for me

  5. Can children learn coding at a tender age? Robots and education can not be separated in this tech age. Today’s  Children are experts in coding and programming tomorrow. As these children are tomorrow code writers, its very important to have sound foundation in the use of robots in learning. This affords them the opportunity to be conversant and flexible with computer programming and its effects. Thanks for the wonderful article.

  6. I have always been fascinated by robots since an early age. In fact, I thought I would become a robotic engineer when I grew up, but life had something else for me. Early introduction of children to robotics can greatly spark their interest in engineering, artificial intelligence and robotics. It is interesting to know that even children in the PRE-K2 age can benefit from an introduction to robotics. Do you know any free or paid resource online where parents can get started. The world is progressively going digital and tech-driven. It is important that parent start preparing their kids early in order to fit into tech age. When I become a parent, I will certainly want my child to have a strong foundation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math so that they are relevant in the modern world.

  7. Weldone, very educative post. I must say first and foremost that I agree with statement thatsays children are more curious in this new age. I want to understand all that is happening around them. I remember my nephews , when u get them new toys, toy cars for example, after playing with it for few weeks, the next thing they do is to find ways to open it and check what’s I inside that makes it move when u press the remote. I also feel this curiousness in them can be channeled to coding and robotics.

  8. I’ve read this article from A to Z. It’s all about how to educate our children using robotics technology. Robotics is a revolutionary science that can help in education very effectively. In early childhood  children got more influenced by robotics because we are surrounded by technologies. Robotics in early childhood can help the children to learn science, technology, math etc. It is helpful to be habituate with coding. Coding is fundamental to full-fill the next professional or real life necessaries. Using robotics technology children can learn the concepts of programming and engineering at a very early age. I’ll definitely try to use the help of robotics technology to make my children efficient with their job. Above all, the article was so great to learn important things.

  9. I am a mechanical engineering graduate, aspiring to obtain a masters degree in mechatronics or robotics.

    With all my lofty academic background, I hardly have the minutest  idea about coding. This is owing to the near absolute negligence of the educational system in my country. 

    That is why I applaud this innovative idea of using educational robots to help children get a hang of STEAM. I find this nostalgic, because, I wish I was it their shoes. It would have made my academic journey, an interesting and fun filled one. 

    Soon enough I’d be going abroad for my Master’s in robotics and I know I’d need alot of help and hardwork to cover for the inadequacies in the educational system in my country. Adopting academic robots would have been a big boost to our educational quality. 

    • Thanks Peace for your comments. That’s exactly how I feel. I’m 70 years old, I recently became a grandfather. I was a programmer for 38 years, and I understand exactly your concerns.

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