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  • Writer's pictureFARDEEN BLAQ

ROBOTS IN EDUCATION

Would you rather learn from a robot teacher or a human teacher?



This question came up during a conversation with my friend. Personally I prefer both. “Well because I need the human social interaction that the teacher will give me. Mean while I also find it very interesting that robots can be amazingly valuable teaching tools.


When applied to education, robotics and simulators can change the way students learn and ultimately create a more knowledgeable and well-adjusted student. I imagine that because robots do not get tired of repetition, I can focus on learning without any shame or peer pressure. A robot never runs out of patience so I feel free to learn at my own speed. I can make as many attempts to get something right as it takes, and the robot will never make me feel like I am taking too long. Even better is that my learning is at my own individual level. Quite probably within a few years robots will be able to perfect much more complicated tasks,” I told him.



Since the conversation with my friend I have been doing a bit of research and have found that robotic technology has so far been successful in educating children. Some with special requirements like autism are learning communication and social skills and students with developmental issues and attention disorders are learning focus. Individuals with severe physical disabilities are also offered a constant companion and health monitoring system - all through the use of robotics. Robots can be programmed to suit each individual child's need, offering special education in a much simpler, accessible format.


The use of robots is rapidly becoming more commonplace all around us – in our workplaces, our homes, and soon even in our schools. Although the use of robots is quite new in the field of education, some experts predict that within the next ten years they will be regularly used in classrooms around the world.


Several schools all over the world have already started to test the use of robots in the classroom.


For example, in the Finnish city of Tampere, schools have started testing a social teaching robot called Elias, which is mainly used for language and math learning. As having fun is becoming an important element of effective learning, Elias has been programmed to dance, and encourages students to sing and dance as well. Elias can also speak and understand 23 different languages. So far, the testing of this robot has been going very well, with most of the students reacting very positively to it.



For me all this is so exciting.


I am eagerly waiting for the time when robots will be widely used in the education process, as they will be inexpensive and provide an immersive experience that can help students like me to quickly and effectively learn almost anything that can be demonstrated. However, it’s good to keep in mind and never forget that robots are created to serve humans, not the other way around.


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