Robotics in the Classroom
Do we believe robotics have an important role in the classroom?
You better believe it!
Full disclosure, earlier this year we joined forces with InkSmith as the exclusive training partner for the K8 Modular Robotics kit.
Our motivation for bringing robotics into the classroom leads us to an important question we contemplate when considering the professional development we offer:
How do we prepare our students to be future ready?
This was also the focus of the TransformEd Summits that ran earlier this year with Microsoft and WE. The goal of TransformEd was to support educators as they prepare the Class of 2030 for the world of tomorrow. What does the world of tomorrow look like? Apparently, there's robots, lots of them. Which brings us back to why we believe robotics have an important role in education.
Why we support robotic literacy?
The economy of the future demands it. Artificial intelligence and robotics are already a part of our daily lives. By learning through robotics, students gain an understanding of programming. This programming knowledge helps more students shift from consumers to creators and further helps them understand how prevalent AI tech around them works. Robotics also gives students, many already consumers of technology, the chance to question and look at the technology, moving beyond passive consumer. In constructing, programming and working with robots, students learn how technology actually works. When students engage with robotics as a tool to learn, they learn skills that will prepare them for a future of engaging – even if beyond their career work - with more advanced technologies such as driverless cars and more.
We love STEM, everyone loves STEM. Employing robotics in the classroom is the evolution of STEM education. Robotics give practical exhibition to abstract ideas that can be difficult for students to grasp. STEM comes to life when students work with robots, without realizing they are engaging in STEM pathways. The concepts of science, technology, engineering and math are essential for the innovation that must occur to participate in the economies of the future.
It's hands-on, minds-on learning, which deepens students understanding and commitment to continue to learn. Building and programming a robot is project-based learning that engages the students and offers opportunities for innovation, creativity and computational thinking.
It's fun! Fun = Student Engagement. Beyond fun, learning with robotics is a challenge, requiring experimenting, failing and readjusting which ultimately builds resilience within students.
Robotics incorporates a range of skills which promotes a culture of teamwork that harnesses each students’ different talents. When properly adopted and used, robotics promotes a culture of collaboration and inclusivity. It can help students thrive who might otherwise struggle to learn in a traditional setting.
Our Co-Founder Martha Jez said it well, “If properly harnessed, robotics in the classroom fosters creativity, builds character, instills programming knowledge, and - my favourite – promotes a culture of teamwork. Robotics requires a range of skills which promotes an environment for people with different talents, and allows students who might otherwise struggle to learn in a traditional classroom setting the opportunity to thrive.”
Learn how you can get started with robotics in your classroom by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.