Robots: Harbingers of Revolutionary Transformations in Education
Robo Age | the education magazine

Today, technological advancements have opened doors for numerous possibilities. Most of us may have watched science fiction movies where people achieve unbelievable feats thanks to the modern technology. These dreams have transformed into realities as we have witnessed the advent of self-driving cars, voice-controlled equipment, and even hover boards. Such developments always make us wonder what technological miracle we can expect next.

One of the most landmark technological innovations is development in the field of robotics. There is hardly any sector, which has remained untouched by robotics. Although, we may not own personalized robots to carry out our day-to-day activities, but various industries including healthcare, education, manufacturing, and so on, are embracing robotics for revolutionary outcomes.

Robotics upgrading Education

Robots have made a major impact on the education system. They have gradually made their way into classrooms and are inducing creativity in teaching–learning procedures. The introduction of robotics in education has made it very interesting and engaging, while exploring traditional boundaries and making classroom learning a worthwhile experience.

Educational institutions are incorporating robotics for the overall development of the students in the below mentioned ways:

Used as Proxies for sick Students

Many students who are suffering from serious terminal diseases like cancer cannot go to school every day because of which, they have to miss out on classes. There are many robots, which can help such students to attend class from afar, as they can be remotely controlled. As a result, students can be a part of classroom sessions, while staying at home. These robots serve as eyes and ears of the students in the classroom, and also help students to interact with the teachers and other students.

Assisting Students with Autism

Students with autism often have difficulty in understanding facial expressions and non-verbal cues. They find it difficult and intimidating to communicate with others. Robots can ease things up for such students, as they do not possess all the non-verbal cues and expressions that divert students’ attention from the class.

Many robots have been successfully assisting children with autism to learn social cues and different educational lessons. They have helped younger children in identifying different types of animals depicted in lessons, and have assisted slightly older kids to develop basic reading skills.

A Supportive Tool for Teachers

Robots have emerged as efficient advancement that can assist teachers in demonstrating an experiment or a scientific process in the classroom. Distance learning has also received a major facelift thanks to the intervention of robots. Telescopic robots help teachers conduct a class anywhere, which expands the possibilities for distance learning. It is different from regular webcam-streamed sessions. Here, teachers conduct classes from a distant location, which is streamed into a tablet; robots then take around the tablets to the students. This can be beneficial for students residing in far flung areas.

Robots are Affordable for the Average Teacher

It might not be easy for every teacher or student to take advantage of the above mentioned robot models. Any latest technology at its initial stage might be difficult to adopt or understand, and might be economically unfeasible. But, with time, people get accustomed to it also becomes affordable for all. The same goes in case of robots. With time, teachers may get accustomed to them and can increasingly incorporate them to enhance the education process. Hence, we can expect to see wide usage of these robots in the future.

Teachers presently have a few options of affordably utilizing robots in the classroom. They can use LEGO bricks, which will give students a hands-on experience of building robots themselves by using affordable tools. Additionally, Edison offers an affordable LEGO-compatible bot which the students can use to further enhance their robot-building experience. At Harvard, researchers have invented a robot worth $10, which teaches students programming. Students have to develop codes to command the robot to perform different activities. Also, there is a Pi-Bot which allows students to assemble and program their own robot. Worth, $99, this robot can assist students ranging from middle school and beyond. The company also offers tutorial videos, which elaborately explain each step to the students.

Robots: Shaping the Future of Education              

The education industry has undergone groundbreaking transformations during the past decade and we can expect even more advancements in the days to come. With innovative technologies trickling into classrooms, the teaching–learning procedure has become more innovative and entertaining, opening doors for endless possibilities. We can also expect distance learning to rise as a prominent medium of instruction. As most of life’s activities have received a major boost thanks to technological innovations, similarly, education has also upgraded with the advent of robotics.

Robots have emerged as a boon for the education system. They are playing an important role in demonstrating important experiments and concepts in the classroom. Additionally, they are assisting in making classroom sessions interesting and educative. Robotics has endless applications in education and it can work wonders if implemented in the right way, and can open the doorway to an educational revolution.