LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS SHANGHAI 2017: Robots are increasingly finding their way into classrooms around the world not only to prepare students for a workplace that will almost certainly be dominated by technology, and perhaps even robots, but also because it gives them extra motivation to focus on their studies.
Celestino Alvarez, founder and CEO of Spain-based Adele Robots, who speaks on Friday at the Future Tech Summit, told Mobile World Live: “We should prepare the next generation for the future, and getting involved with robotics and coding is a good start.”
Teachers are pushing for robots to succeed because involving them in the learning process has proven to motivate students to try harder by making it more fun and interesting.
There are basically three ways to apply robotics to learning, he explained. First, as a tool in the learning process, like Lego Mindstorms, where pupils learn mechanics and programming to solve different challenges. Second, as a teacher assistant to free up time for the teacher. And third, as a virtual tutor in peer-to-peer learning, with the robot providing customised content based on student interest and previous knowledge.
He noted that how robot programmes are funded varies from country to country. In the case of Spain, where educational budgets are tight, robotics has become a popular extra-curricular activity supported by parents. In some regions like Madrid robotics is included in the curriculum, and is supported by the government.
In the case of pre-school, he said book publishers for schools are realising book publishing in general is declining, so they are moving to provide educational content in different ways and promoting new ways of learning, including the use of robots.