Robotics in education: what it is, applications and advantages
Last Updated: 24/11/2023
Educational Robotics allows students to learn STEM disciplines in different ways, with the objective of facilitating students’ skills and attitudes for the analysis and operation of robots. But robotics in the classroom has several other benefits. Let’s learn more about it and how it impacts on education.
What is robotics in education?
Educational robotics is the discipline that helps students familiarize themselves with programming and robotics while tackling other essential cognitive skills at the same time.
Students of all ages can dabble in educational robotics, but of course, the level of complexity increases as learners progress through their education path. For instance, primary and secondary school students will interact with basic robots and learn how to make them perform some elementary tasks. Higher education students, instead, will face more challenging and expensive technologies.
Overall, educational robotics falls within the realm of STEM disciplines and adopts its same premise: bringing students closer to scientific subjects with engaging and fun activities.
Applications and advantages of robotics in education
The most immediate advantages of educational robotics for students are, of course, learning highly requested technological skills that can seriously impact the trajectory of their careers.
However, educational robotics is much more than a sensible choice for future career perspectives: it is a complete discipline that fosters a multitude of skills and can become life-changing for students with learning impairments.
Programming becomes easy and funny
Educational robotics strengthen and support students’ skills developing their knowledge through the creation, design, assembly, and operation of robots. Children and young students find it funny and engaging because they feel free to interact directly with both electrical and mechanical processes and procedures.
In fact, programming languages can be too difficult and boring when learned through the “traditional” abstract method. On the contrary, by having to control a physical robot and seeing what goes wrong, students learn what robots can and can’t do with immediate experience and understanding.
An assistive technology to attend school
Educational robotics represents a helpful solution for those students who cannot attend school. As the technological world evolves daily, the educational world will continue to benefit from the opportunities offered by its new innovations, tools, and discoveries.
Therefore, robots can be used to bring into the classroom all those students who otherwise might not be able to attend the lessons, because of their particular physical conditions.
Let’s think about children with severe allergies or students who are recovering at home after surgery. Thanks to their personal robot, a student can access a “real school” experience. The device attends school and brings the student with him via a dedicated internal video conferencing system.
New levels of learning for students with special needs
Robotics in the classroom helps children and young students with particular disabilities to develop their own personal learning experience, accessing information and educational content through a tailor-made path.
Thus, robots can be programmed to suit each individual need. Children with autism, for example, can be supported by robots in the learning process of communication and social skills, interacting with special devices that adapt their answers and responses to students’ reactions. Students with developmental issues and attention disorders can take advantage of a constant companion, learning how to stay focused. The possibilities are endless.
Developing skills for the future
Moreover, Robotics prepare students for the competitive workforce of tomorrow. By programming robots, students can discover if their aptitudes and interests correspond to those skills that will define the job market of the future, like programming, science technology, or engineering.
Working on a robot stimulates students to build their engineering intuition and emphasizes meaningful problem-based learning through the integration and application of their knowledge. Strategic problem-solving, computational thinking, higher-order thinking, and logical and analytical reasoning are just a few examples of the abilities developed by educational robotics, abilities that will be fundamental in a lot of professional areas.