How is Robotics Changing the EdTech Industry and Improving Learning?

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A few decades ago, robots were nothing more than fiction characters in science. This is no longer the case. As technology advances, robotics continues to push the envelope across different industries. The education industry is no different. Robotics in education has proven to be an invaluable resource for students, teachers, and parents.
Increasingly, robotics is used to enhance development of cognitive skills among students while empowering them with robotic and programming knowledge. This article explores educational robotics and unpacks the role it plays in improving learning.

What is Educational Robotics?

Educational robotics is a discipline that introduces students to the world of programming and robotics at a young age. Robotics in EdTech emphasizes practice rather than theory. Integrating robots in primary education means that students are provided with everything they need to build and program robots that can perform different tasks. In higher levels of education, advanced robots are used.
This education model is used to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education in schools.

Role of Robotics in Education

Robots are not just theories, they are already performing tasks in different industries. Robotics in education empowers students with requisite skills that are needed in a technological world. Besides helping in different industries, robots are innovative tools that help kids learn new concepts and acquire valuable skills through exciting recreational activities.
Since robotics is futuristic, robots stimulate curiosity. This encourages logical thinking and builds concentration in students. These skills prepare students for the world of work where automation and robotics are increasingly becoming prevalent.

What Types of Robots are Used in Education?

Robotics in education utilizes robots that are designed specifically for educational settings. Robots come in varying forms. Some are big and can interact socially with students. Others are small and programmable, students can code them. Robots that have been equipped with artificial intelligence are also used in the EdTech industry. AI allows such robots to respond to students in real-time and adapt to the learning environment.
There are four types of educational robots that are currently being used in classrooms today. Each comes with unique capabilities and features to support learning for varying age groups as follows:

Humanoid Robots

These are designed to mimic humans and are capable of performing different tasks. Humanoid robots help to teach robotic concepts like locomotion, balance, and motion.

Pre-built Robots

Unlike humanoid robots, pre-built robots are quite basic. They are fully programmed and easy-to-use robots designed for young children. Pre-built robots can be used to teach kids simple tasks like avoiding obstacles and following lines. They introduce children to foundational programming concepts.

Modular Robots

These are used to teach complex robotic concepts like dynamics, kinematics, and mechanical engineering. They utilize multiple modules that students can assemble into varying configurations.

Programmable Robots

These are used to teach students coding and robotic concepts like motors, sensors, and controllers. They have actuators and sensors to enable them to perform complex tasks. Students assemble and program them during learning.

How Robotics is Changing the EdTech Industry and Improving Learning

Robotics in EdTech is transforming how teachers teach and how students learn. Below are five ways this discipline is improving learning:

1. Supporting Interactive Learning

Educational robotics leverages interactive learning. Students work on robot projects together. This builds their communication, teamwork, and collaboration skills while helping them to appreciate individual strengths.

2. Making Education Accessible

Robots can be programmed to meet the individual needs of a child. This makes provision of special education accessible and easier. Through robotics children with special needs like autism, attention disorder, and other developmental challenges can focus and develop social and communication skills.

3. Generating Interest in STEM Subjects

The use of robots in the classroom builds student interest in STEM subjects and helps them see how those subjects apply in the real world.

4. Non-Judgmental Learning

The use of educational robotics in the classroom reduces judgment and embarrassment for students because, unlike humans, robots don’t judge or feel. Although their ability to act with intention or form opinions is low, robots have emotion recognition capabilities.
This enables them to provide non-judgmental outlets for emotional expression. This way, they can support children when they experience homesickness or cultural adjustment challenges.

5. Personalizing Learning

Robots help students and teachers overcome the one-size-fits-approach challenge. Since they are capable of adapting different teaching methods, they can be programmed to support students to learn or practice more depending on their learning styles and abilities. This personalized mode of learning allows students to get instructed in ways that resonate with their needs and preferences.

6. Higher Knowledge Retention

Educational robotics focuses more on practice than theory. It gives students global perspectives through virtual interactions, field trips, and exposure to issues in different parts of the world. These experiences help students to retain more knowledge than they would in conventional learning approaches.

What are the Benefits of Educational Robots?

Robotics in education offers numerous benefits for students, here are 3 major ones:

Promotes Hands-On Learning

Robotics allows students to learn by doing. Students are introduced to tech and science concepts in a practical way, empowering them with mechanical, electronic, and coding skills. This hands-on learning helps them understand theoretical concepts better.

Builds In-Demand Skills

Educational robots enable students to build skills like problem-solving, programming, and coding that are in demand in the job market in an engaging, fun way. Developing these skills early will help them succeed in their careers in future.

Prepares Students for the Workplace

Technology has become an integral part of the workplace. Robotics is already driving transformation in every sector. In the EdTech industry, robots give students a solid computational thinking and programming foundation that will enhance their understanding of emerging technologies in future.

Wrapping Up

Robotics in EdTech is changing the way students learn and retain knowledge rapidly. In the modern-day digital world, this approach can build STEM skills in students and adequately prepare them for future jobs. It can also expand opportunities for children with special needs and make education accessible to them based on their learning needs and styles.
In addition to providing technical skills, robotics in education also helps students develop a range of transferable skills like problem-solving, collaboration, teamwork, and logical thinking. These skills are what they need to succeed in life and the workplace.
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