Article

Exploring the educational potential of robotics in schools: A systematic review

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Abstract

This study reviews recently published scientific literature on the use of robotics in schools, in order to: (a) identify the potential contribution of the incorporation of robotics as educational tool in schools, (b) present a synthesis of the available empirical evidence on the educational effectiveness of robotics as an educational tool in schools, and (c) define future research perspectives concerning educational robotics. After systematically searching online bibliographic databases, ten relevant articles were located and included in the study. For each article, we analyze the purpose of the study, the content to be taught with the aid of robotics, the type of robot used, the research method used, and the sample characteristics (sample size, age range of students and/or level of education) and the results observed. The articles reviewed suggest that educational robotics usually acts as an element that enhances learning, however, this is not always the case, as there are studies that have reported situations in which there was no improvement in learning. The outcomes of the literature review are discussed in terms of their implications for future research, and can provide useful guidance for educators, practitioners and researchers in the area.

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... Socially Assistive Robots (SARs) show significant promise in supporting individuals across a variety of domains. SARs can support people receiving therapy [1], [2], [3], [4], students in education [5], [6], [7], and elderly individuals [8], [9]. Across these fields, SARs are able to provide support through social interactions with individuals in need of assistance. ...
... SARs have also been successfully deployed in educational domains, which traditionally rely on social interaction [5], [6], [7]. SARs can help children learn a variety of different skills, including handwriting [34], sports [35], drama [36], arithmetic, mathematics, and science [37], [6] sign language [38] and spoken second languages [39]. ...
... SARs have also been successfully deployed in educational domains, which traditionally rely on social interaction [5], [6], [7]. SARs can help children learn a variety of different skills, including handwriting [34], sports [35], drama [36], arithmetic, mathematics, and science [37], [6] sign language [38] and spoken second languages [39]. Not only are robots capable of teaching these skills, but in some cases the introduction of a SAR can result in increased engagement [37], [39], more learning gains [40], [41] and more efficient learning [42]. ...
Conference Paper
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Socially Assistive Robots (SARs) show significant promise in a number of domains: providing support for the elderly, assisting in education, and aiding in therapy. Perhaps un-surprisingly, SAR research has traditionally focused on providing evidence for this potential. In this paper, we argue that this focus has led to a lack of critical reflection on the appropriate level of autonomy (LoA) for SARs, which has in turn led to blind spots in the research literature. Through an analysis of the past five years of HRI literature, we demonstrate that SAR researchers are overwhelmingly developing and envisioning autonomous robots. Critically, researchers do not include a rationale for their choice in LoA, making it difficult to determine their motivation for fully autonomous robots. We argue that defaulting to research fully autonomous robots is potentially shortsighted , as applying LoA selection guidelines to many SAR domains would seem to warrant levels of autonomy that are closer to teleoperation. We moreover argue that this is an especially critical oversight as teleoperated robots warrant different evaluation metrics than do autonomous robots since teleoperated robots introduce an additional user, the teleoperator. Taken together, this suggests a mismatch between LoA selection guidelines and the vision of SAR autonomy found in the literature. Based on this mismatch, we argue that the next five years of SAR research should be characterized by a shift in focus towards teleoperation and teleoperators.
... The use of educational robotics (ER) as a pedagogical resource is a current topic of research as this is becoming quite well integrated into schools and high schools [1]. Similarly, computational thinking (CT) [2] is being introduced in the pre-university educational stages [3]. ...
... Educational robotics covers many technological aspects, but is basically focused on the use of educational robots, basic programming knowledge and problem-solving in the engineering environment [17]. Computational thinking, meanwhile, at a pre-university level, focuses on laying the foundations for future programmers and code developers and enhancing the skills needed for the 21st century [18], Such teaching aims to engage students in activities or projects where they work on and develop logical thinking [1,7,19,20]. Concepts related to STEAM subjects, robotics and computing are important if we are to meet the growing demand for professionals in related fields given the current lack of technology professionals [21]. ...
... Integrating STEAM subjects into educational curricula represents a starting point for these technical disciplines to be strengthened [4]. This integration into curricula can be done through technological platforms, such as robotic kits and programming tools, which can support learning about educational robotics and computational thinking, and using different methodologies [1], too, especially those that target the early ages [23]. At the same time, using ICT to promote the development of a person in society is often promoted [24]. ...
Article
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In the context of the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics disciplines in education, subjects tend to use contextualized activities or projects. Educational robotics and computational thinking both have the potential to become subjects in their own right, though not all educational programs yet offer these. Despite the use of technology and programming platforms being widespread, it is not common practice to integrate computational thinking and educational robotics into the official curriculum in secondary education. That is why this paper continues an initial project of integrating computational thinking and educational robotics into a secondary school in Barcelona, Spain. This study presents a project-based learning approach where the main focus is the development of skills related to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics and the acquisition of computational thinking knowledge in the second year of pupils’ studies using a block-based programming environment. The study develops several sessions in the context of project-based learning, with students using the block-programming platform ScratchTM. During these sessions and in small-group workshops, students will expand their knowledge of computational thinking and develop 21st-century skills. We demonstrate the superior improvement of these concepts and skills compared to other educational methodologies.
... In addition, reviews were conducted on the role of artificial intelligence and robotics in education in the learning process (Cox, 2021). Several SLR studies have been focused on specific usage of ERR (Anwar et al., 2019;Benitti, 2012;Spolaôr & Benitti, 2017;Toh et al., 2016;van de Berghe et al., 2019;Xia & Zhong, 2018). Table 1 represents these studies chronologically with explanations about their purpose and scope. ...
... First, previous review studies have focused on one of roles of ERR, such as robotics (i.e. Anwar et al., 2019;Benitti, 2012;Xia & Zhong, 2018) or robots (van den Berghe et al., 2019). However, as stated in the introduction, even using it for different educational purposes, it is necessary to approach robots and robotics holistically. ...
... In this context, there is a gap in the literature regarding a comprehensive systematic mapping (SM) study that deals with robotics and robots. Regarding systematic literature review (SLR) studies, Benitti (2012) examined ten studies on the use of robotics as a tool in teaching a topic. In this study, only experimental studies were focused and the findings on the effectiveness of robotics were summarized. ...
Article
This study, which systematically examines educational robotics and robots (ERR), has two purposes. (1) Classifying the research on the ERR to identify research trends and gaps, (2) Summarizing the experimental findings related to ERR and to interpret them according to the claims in the literature. A mixed method combining systematic mapping and systematic review were used in the study. Ninety-three articles published in Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) indexed journals and meeting the specified criteria were analyzed using a systematic mapping process. The results showed that 40 out of 93 articles did not include any learning theory. Thirty-two experimental studies were analyzed within the scope of the systematic review. The empirical findings supporting some of the claims about ERR are summarized and the research gaps in the claims that need to be supported by theoretical and pedagogical approaches are revealed.
... In recent years, the research community has shown great interest in Educational Robotics (ER) as a technology which substantially promotes the educational process (Eguchi, 2014;Fanchamps, Slangen, Hennissen, & Specht, 2019;Ospennikova, Ershov, & Iljin, 2015) and offers significant benefits in learning and teaching (Benitti, 2012;Jones & Castellano, 2018;Julià & Antolí, 2015). ER gives students the opportunity to explore, create and implement knowledge into dealing with authentic problems (Bers, Flannery, Kazakoff, & Sullivan, 2014;Ching et al., 2019). ...
... Increased interest in ER led to several literature reviews in order to examine the research trends and reach conclusions regarding the implementation of robotic interventions in education. Earlier literature reviews that have ER as their research subject (Anwar, Bascou, Menekse, & Kardgar, 2019;Benitti, 2012;Karim, Lemaignan, & Mondada, 2015;Mubin et al., 2013;Toh, Causo, Tzuo, Chen, & Yeo, 2016;Xia & Zhong, 2018) explain the benefits and insufficiencies of this technology in teaching and learning, and highlight the research trends, resulting in valuable knowledge and conclusions. Nonetheless, these reviews manifest certain characteristics or limitations concerning the research, which dictate further study and investigation of ER in education. ...
... In the search for literature, six literature reviews where ER was mentioned were found. Specifically, in a literature review by Benitti (2012), the focus is on the opportunities that Robotics can offer in Primary and Secondary Education, with the aim of determining the contribution and efficiency of Robotics as an educational tool in the classroom and highlighting the research trends. She analyzed several characteristics such as the type of research, the method, the type of robot, the subject which was taught with the robot's help etc., and concluded that Robotics as an educational tool contributes to the domains of Science, Physics and Mathematics apart from the fields of Robotics itself and Programming. ...
Chapter
The purpose of this chapter is to review the literature referring to the utilization of educational robotics (ER) in primary education. Keyword-based search in particular bibliographic databases returned 21 journal papers for the eight-year period of 2012-2019. The factors that were studied in each of them are as follows: learning environment, area of knowledge/course subjects, pedagogical framework, learning activities, robotic equipment, research methodology, and main findings. The outcomes, among other things, showed that the majority of ER activities took place in a formal learning environment and that ER is appropriate for teaching subjects of STEM education. Though many researches took into account various learning theories that support collaboration, problem-solving, discovery, and construction of knowledge, there were some researches that lacked any pedagogical framework. In spite of the positive cognitive and affective outcomes of ER in learning, there are aspects that require further investigation.
... Benitti [14] used six databases from which he selected 10 articles, and he aimed at primary, middle and high schools. Benitti's review considered that an article would be excluded if it presented only qualitative learning assessment. ...
... In addition, according to the taxonomy of Trochim and Donnelly [23] and Benitti [14] we classified the study design into three categories: ...
... Knowledge 1, 2, 4, 6,8,10,11,12,15,17,19,21,26,27,32,33,34,35,36 Skills 3,5,6,7,8,9,11,13,15,17,20,24,25,28,29,30 Attitudes 3,5,7,9,12,14,16,18,22,23,24,28,29,31,32 Table 10 lists the data type and source and the intervention results for each study. The data type in 19 studies (52.8%) was quantitative, in 8 studies (22.2%) qualitative and in the remaining 9 studies (25%) quantitative and qualitative, as shown in Figure 8. ...
Article
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STEM education programs with educational robotics are frequently used in formal or informal education, with participants ranging from kindergarten children up to university students. The widespread implementation of these programs in schools and the growing interest of researchers in the field has led several authors/researchers to review and summarize the characteristics of STEM research. However, the literature on the features of STEM research in primary education (kindergarten and primary school) is limited. Therefore, this article is a systematic literature review that tries to enrich the STEM agenda by answering the questions: (a) which study designs are commonly used in STEM interventions, (b) what the characteristics of the sample are (number/age of the students), (c) which equipment and user interfaces (tangible/graphical) are used, and (d) what are the characteristics of the studies (duration, intervention objectives, activities) and how studies’ data were recorded. For this review, 36 out of 337 articles were analyzed and emerged from eight databases, three search-keywords and six exclusion criteria. The examination of the reviewed articles showed, inter alia, that non-experimental design is usually used, that in half of the cases written evaluations are used and the sample size is almost equal between girls and boys. Finally, long-term research is restricted, therefore it is not safe to generalize the findings of these studies.
... Robots were first introduced in educational contexts as tools for programming or explaining technology, but as robot technology advanced humanoid robots are nowadays also used as embodied social agents in education (Angel-Fernandez & Vincze, 2018;Belpaeme et al., 2018;Benitti, 2012;Mubin et al., 2013). The motive for using humanoid robots in educational environments is that they are supposed to increase students' motivation, engagement, and concentration (Keane et al., 2017;Pandey & Gelin, 2017). ...
... Social robots are primarily used to support the learning of subject-specific concepts or skills development (Benitti, 2012;Ceha et al., 2021) and are mainly used in language, science, or technology education (Mubin et al., 2013;Rosanda & Starcic, 2019). Most often it is about the robot being used to develop the students' theoretical abilities, more rarely about practical ones (Lemaignan et al., 2016). ...
... Besides, social robots encourage children to use their critical thinking skills and imagination, and to be sociable and independent (Causo et al., 2017). However, the empirical evidence supporting the effectiveness of social robots in education is limited, and more long-term studies are needed (Benitti, 2012;Konijn et al., 2020;Leite et al., 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
The idea of using social robots for teaching and learning has become increasingly prevalent and robots are assigned various roles in different educational settings. However, there are still few authentic studies conducted over time. Our study explores teachers' perceptions of a learning activity in which a child plays a digital mathematics game together with a humanoid robot. The activity is based on the idea of learning-by-teaching where the robot is designed to act as a tutee while the child is assigned the role of a tutor. The question is how teachers perceive and talk about the robot in this collaborative child-robot learning activity? The study is based on data produced during a 2-years long co-design process involving teachers and students. Initially, the teachers reflected on the general concept of the learning activity, later in the process they participated in authentic game-play sessions in a classroom. All teachers' statements were transcribed and thematically coded, then categorized into two different perspectives on the robot: as a social actor or didactic tool. Activity theory was used as an analytical lens to analyze these different views. Findings show that the teachers discussed the activity’s purpose, relation to curriculum, child-robot collaboration, and social norms. The study shows that teachers had, and frequently switched between, both robot-perspectives during all topics, and their perception changed during the process. The dual perspectives contribute to the understanding of social robots for teaching and learning, and to future development of educational robot design.
... Students are encouraged to collaborate and engage in problem-solving activities to gain problem-solving thinking skills and expertise in computer science education. Educational robotics allows teachers to create engaging lessons that foster interest in technology, student motivation, and computational thinking (Benitti, 2012). Problem-based learning activities enable students to design concepts and hypotheses and solve with the robots during the intervention. ...
... The use of robots contributes to motivation in the classroom. It enables designing activities that promote computational thinking and contribute to achieving competencies such as social skills, collaboration, and teamwork (Benitti, 2012). Playful programming with programmable robots is seen as a promising method to promote problemsolving already in young students (Atmatzidou & Demetriadis, 2016) and is seen as a possible prospect for an interest in technical professions to develop later on (Himpsl-Gutermann et al., 2017). ...
Chapter
Computational thinking and educational robotics are two terms that are increasingly encountered in the literature when discussing the introduction of digital education in primary school. Computer science education is becoming increasingly important, even for young learners. Since its planned implementation in the Austrian primary school curriculum, it became necessary to find appropriate educational required concepts and methods for its implementation. Therefore, a research project was developed to investigate the use of programmable robots combined with the method of digital storytelling. To combine theoretical knowledge with pedagogical practice, the approach of educational design research was chosen. The study was conducted in five classes of primary schools. The aim was to investigate how to design a robotics-based learning environment supporting computational thinking skills. The purpose of this chapter is to give an overview of the findings of this research project.
... Students are encouraged to collaborate and engage in problem-solving activities to gain problem-solving thinking skills and expertise in computer science education. Educational robotics allows teachers to create engaging lessons that foster interest in technology, student motivation, and computational thinking [15]. Problem-based learning activities enable students to design concepts and hypotheses to try out and solve with the robots during the intervention. ...
... One opportunity to introduce students to computer science education and foster computational thinking skills at the same time is the use of educational robotics. Playful programming with programmable robots is seen as a promising way to promote problem-solving already in young learners [4] and could possibly lead to the development of interest in technical professions later on [15]. The haptic use of programmable floor robots, such as Bee-bots or Ozobots, makes them particularly suitable for younger children [16]. ...
Conference Paper
This Research to Practice Full Paper presents the development of a robotics-based learning environment using an educational design research approach. Contemporary teaching should prepare learners for everyday and working life, suggesting that this can only be achieved by implementing Digital Education from primary education onwards. Since computer science education is planned to be anchored in the Austrian primary school curriculum as an interdisciplinary competence development, research into teaching methods and content suitable for this area is becoming increasingly necessary. In this context, the transfer of innovations and didactic approaches into teaching is one of the biggest challenges. Introducing coding and robotics would be a possible strategy. Educational robotics provide access to real-world scenarios and offer age-appropriate possibilities to explore digital aspects of living and working environments. Combined with narrative methods, such as digital storytelling, problem-solving skills could be developed. Since the implementation of computer science in primary education requires practical and theoretical knowledge, an educational design approach is used that takes this aspect into account and allows close interaction between researchers and practitioners. This paper focuses on investigating a feasible and effective robotics-based learning environment for developing and supporting problem-solving skills at primary school using the learning and teaching method digital storytelling. Hence, the development of the learning environment and the didactic approach gained from qualitative results of interviews and observations from the first cycle of the research project are presented, providing plausible arguments for further implementing this robotics-based learning environment.
... This workshop discussed insights from a research project focused on the development of spatial and computational thinking with very young children, with the aim to introduce them to STEM (e.g., Benitti, 2012). In the project, two teaching experiments were carried out in two kindergarten classes (children aged 3 to 6), and a Blue Bot was used to create opportunities for mathematical explorations for the children in a playful environment. ...
... One possibility to foster computational thinking and develop problem-solving strategies for young learners is educational robotics (ER) [28]. Benitti [29] investigated the potential of robotics in schools, identified how robotics could contribute by integrating it as an educational tool in schools, and examined its effectiveness. The use of programming tools provides young learners critical computational approaches to addressing real-world problems [1]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Though expanding computational thinking to primary school students has become more prevalent, there is a lack of appropriate didactics. Educational robotics offers a possible approach. However, innovations can only find their way into the classroom if teachers find them feasible and meaningful. Thus, appropriate training and further education of teachers are becoming a necessity. This paper reports on investigating professional development for teachers in programming robots by integrating the method of storytelling in their teaching. It draws on the Technology Usage Inventory (TUI) model to explore how an interdisciplinary intervention with programmable robots, combined with the sto-rytelling method Tell, Draw & Code can influence the intention to use them in the classroom. Comparing the pre-and post-test and the qualitative data analysis shows a significant increase in positive attitudes towards the use of robots. The learning scenarios produced by the participants show how implementation can succeed. These findings highlight the need for teachers to explore, reflect, and experience the potential of new technologies as part of their teacher development to implement innovations sustainably. The quasi-experimental study shows that this problem-based and interdisciplinary didactic setting is particularly well received by teachers because it promotes computational thinking, narrative, and reading skills in primary school students in equal measure, and it can be easily taught and transferred.
... On the other hand, Barreto and Vavssori [44] mention that ER is related to thinking skills, the scientific process, problem-solving approaches, and teamwork skills. A study presented by Alves-Oliveira [45] features activities that enhance creativity in children. ...
Article
Full-text available
The study aims to design a methodological approach that allows educational robotics to develop STEM competences for schoolteachers, but with a gender focus. The phases within consist of designing a set of workshops with a gender approach, making use of Arduino, as it allows for introducing concepts in electronics and programming. For this, a mixed research method was applied, where quantitative and qualitative information was collected. The study was carried out with teachers from Latin American schools, where teachers from Chile and Colombia participated the most, and was conducted in virtual mode through the Zoom platform. As a result, it was found that Arduino and its components can be used to build projects that can be related in a real context, which further motivates students. It was also found that the levels of creativity, attitude, and motivation of the students increased with the workshops that were carried out.
... Use of robotic processes in education has been increasing day by day (Scherer et al., 2020). Researches reveal that robotic processes have positive effects in fields of Science, Mathematics, and Engineering (Benitti, 2012;Eguchi, 2010). It is possible to say that robotic practices increase work motivation as learners create indiviual learning environments and produce their own products (Lin et al., 2009;Lin, Liu & Huang, 2012) Kapa (1999) looked into effects of logo assisted learning environments on problem solving skills, group interaction and individual learning. ...
Article
Full-text available
Because of their traditional programming structures that have user-hostile interfaces and complicated syntax, programming languages education doesn’t catch students’ attention and most of them find programming difficult and consider it as a job that only professionals can do. In order to minimalize the difficulty and drawback and help students acquire programming skills, programming education must be supported with visual and tangible tools. In this study, effect of robotics assisted programming education on students’ academic success, problem solving skills and motivation was analyzed. In the study, in which quasi-experimental design with pretest-posttest control group, one of the quantitative methods of research was used and the study was carried out on 50 students split into experimental and control groups. Robotics assisted ROBOTC programming education with LEGO® Mindstorms EV3 was carried out with the students of experimental group and for the control group basic C programming education was given. As a result of the data obtained within the scope of the study that lasted for 8 weeks, it was found that academic success, problem solving skills and motivation of students who received robotics assisted programming education were higher than who received robotics unassisted programming education.
... These studies highlighted that in order to transform and improve the educational environment, robotics activities need to be appropriately designed and henceforth implemented in the teaching and learning practices (Bauerle, & Gallagher, 2003;Papert, 1993). Besides, Benitti (2012) identified the potential contribution of the incorporation of robotics as educational tool in schools. The learning theories which apply in robotics education are constructivism and constructionism (Alimisis, 2013). ...
... Regardless, solving challenges is quite enjoyable for many learners and these games could ignite computational thinking development through challenges of varying complexity. Robotics kits go beyond block-based applications by adding a physical dimension to the learning experience so that they create a richer, more tangible, and more motivating environment, especially for younger individuals (Benitti, 2012;Çavaş & Huyugüzel Çavaş, 2005). These sets include compatible hardware and software components. ...
Chapter
Computational thinking involves understanding human behavior, designing systems and solving problems by applying the mental tools that reflect the computer science and basic concepts. Development of frameworks of computational thinking helps integrate computational thinking into education and daily life. It is important for students to start using the computational methods and tools as well as algorithmic problem solving in their educations from kindergarten level to university level. Importance of training on programming at early age was explained. In addition, the current situation of programming in education in the world was reviewed. Then curricula and projects in different countries were summarized. It is necessary to start studies at an early age to help individuals acquire these skills.
... about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts (Cejka et al., 2006). They have been used as a platform to learn about computers and computer programming (Bers et al., 2014); non-traditional robotics activities have also been introduced to help tell stories, to create puppets, and in music and art activities (Benitti, 2012). Numerous research studies suggest that robotics activities have a positive effect on the development of problem solving and the potential to improve and enhance the teaching and learning process (Barak & Zadek, 2009;Barker and Ansorge, 2007;Bers and Portsmore, 2005;Castledine & Chalmers, 2011;Welch & Huffman, 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Humanoid robots are being used in some schools, however, research on the use of these robots is relatively new. In this three-year study, humanoid robots were deployed in 10 schools, involving 29 teachers across early childhood to Year 10. This study aimed to ascertain teachers’ perceptions of the benefits and challenges, the pedagogical practices that helped with student engagement, and where the robots fitted in the curriculum. Through multiple case studies, teachers’ views were explored and results from the study supports the deployment of humanoid robots. The study advocates a constructivist inquiry approach to using humanoid robots across the curriculum.
... ER supports the learning processes in different ages and enhance of various skills such as logical reasoning, critical thinking, and creativity (Blanchard, Freiman, & Lirrete-Pitre, 2010;Miller, Nourbakhsh, & Siegwart, 2008), problem solving, social interaction and teamwork (Benitti, 2012). Recently, new research outcomes demonstrated that ER bridges gaps that lead to risks of social marginalization and subsequent risks of early school leaving by improving learning motivation, interest in learning itself and engagement of children with disabilities in active learning processes (Daniela & Lytras, 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
Educational Robotics in inclusive learning environments creates a wide area of research where innovative teaching practices and theoretical approaches are developed and investigated in order for the new growing educational challenges to be met. In this context, an educational intervention research was carried out using mixed research methodology. The aim of the research was to investigate the effect of the“SAS Strategy Training” a strategy that developed to foster the participation of children with autism, at level 2, in inclusive teamwork with peers during construction and programming LEGO Mindstorms. 2 children, 10-11 years old, diagnosed with autism, at level 2, participated in two inclusive educational robotics teams with typical peers. Τhe SaS Strategy has been integrated in the collaboration script that was designed to support the interaction between the team members during their collaboration on programming LEGO Mindstorms. The “SaS Strategy Training” had encouraging results in reducing the barriers of the participation of the children with autism in teamwork with their typical peers. Critical questions, reflections and new research horizons emerged.
... In such artificial and sophisticated robots, a psychological and educational approach may bring several benefits to teachers and children in particular. This is what happens in the educational robotics field [1], [2], where man and machine work together, accompanying children towards an engaging, creative, and effective teaching approach. The results achieved by this phenomenon are significant, widespread in primary and secondary schools but in clear growth everywhere. ...
Preprint
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In this paper we present an open source educational robot, designed both to engage children in an affective and social interaction, and to be programmable also in its social and affective behaviour. Indeed the robot, in addition to classic programming tasks, can also be programmed as a social robot. In addition to movements, the user can make the robot express emotions and make it say things. The robot can also be left in autonomous mode, in which it is able to carry out both biometric user's features and emotion recognition, and greeting the user.
... The use of robots is not only a motivator in the classroom, but for its technological features, allows the design of activities that promote both computational thinking, and skills related to scientific and mathematical skills such as social skills, collaborative and teamwork (Benitti, 2012;. For instance, researchers have observed young children becoming socially isolated when they are focused on a screen, yet when playing with tangible coding technologies such as Bee-Bot and Cubetto they collaborated and communicated with others as they coded the actions of the 'robot' (Murcia, Campbell, & Aranda, 2018). ...
Chapter
Educational robotics have become popular worldwide with a broad range of students, including preschoolers. Although the impact of robotics technology in classrooms has been extensively studied, less is known about preschool teachers' perceptions of how robotics technology impacts learning and its relation to use in the classroom. This is problematic since we know that teachers' perceptions have a great influence on their teaching practices. This study used survey data gathered from 102 students of the Department of Preschool Education in a University in Greece. A questionnaire developed by the researchers were used as data collection tool. At the end of the study, it was determined that preservice preschool teachers' attitudes about educational robotics usage in preschool classrooms were positive although they lack in relevant knowledge. These findings are discussed with respect to their educational implications.
... (Alimisis, 2019;Scarradozzi et al., 2016a;Scaradozzi, Sorbi, Pedale, Valzano, & Vergine, 2015). Moreover, several studies report the effectiveness of new approaches, using technologies and new methodologies to teach and learn, that could aid teachers in their path to innovation (Benitti, 2012;Cesaretti et al., 2017;Lee & Lee, 2014; Organization for economic co-operation and development, 2010; Rockland et al., 2010;Scaradozzi et al., 2016b;Wang, Hsu, Campell, Coster & Longhurst, 2014): improvements are detected comparing the data of pre-post courses (Leonard et al., 2017). Training teachers in ER is an important and positive factor for a successful and motivated introduction of Robotics in school education (Alimisis, 2009), using educational activities mediated by those programmable robots (González & Muñoz-Repiso, 2017). ...
Article
This study systematically reviews the literature concerning structured training experiences with Educational Robotics (ER) by in-service teachers (ISTs) and pre-service teachers (PSTs). The sixteen papers selected highlight the relevance of these courses in order to update professional identity and to support professional development (PD) beginning with undergraduate education. Through these training sessions, both ISTs and PSTs adapted and integrated their knowledge about robotics and the pedagogy behind it, coming to understand the benefits that new technologies can offer. Therefore, they built a positive attitude towards ER and enhanced their self-efficacy. This enables teachers to properly integrate ER in the classroom, using a more conscious and less obsolete methodology. Consequently, they become, together with their students, active codesigners of the educational process. Finally, improvements in teaching methods and contents will significantly impact on the learning process, especially in terms of motivation and inclusion. International Journal of Social Science and Technology (ISSN: 2415-6566)
... Research into the field of robotics has reported that robots have a potential impact on student learning in a variety of subjects (Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, Informatics, etc.) and on personal development that includes cognitive, meta-cognitive and social skills, such as: research. skills, creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, communication and teamwork skills, all of which are essential skills needed in 21st century work [2], [3]. A review of the literature has revealed that Educational Robotics is a growing field that has the potential to have a profound impact ABSTRACT 255 International Journal for Modern Trends in Science and Technology on the science and technology education system at all levels, from kindergarten to university [1]. ...
Article
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The installation of robots as a teaching tool in higher education should in recent years have a new way to improve the teaching of various subjects and the development of control software. The use of robots that work well in educational programs in institutions of higher learning and their ideas for new teaching programs in engineering, health sciences, biology, chemistry, physics, etc. has been recognized throughout the education sector. The bibliometric tools used to analyze the emergence of educational robots as a factor contributing to improved teaching and participation in teaching methods used by teachers. With this advancement in the field of education, the teaching method can be improved. Thus solving the problems and problems created and encourages students to experience this new era of technology.
... Consequently, several reviews have tried to categorize the STEM studies aiming to explore the potential benefits of this new way of teaching. Some representative reviews are: (a) Gao et al. (2020) found that although many curricula aimed at interdisciplinary topics, most assessments are monodisciplinary, (b) Cutumisu et al. (2019) found that most studies used multiple-choice questions, (c) Xia and Zhong (2018) found that observation and questionnaires used as main measurement tools, (d) addressed the benefits of STEM education, and their findings showed that ER is a useful tool for learning even for students with no interest in STEM topics, (e) Benitti's (2012) findings showed that main subject were mathematics and physics, and (f) Tlili et al. (2020) referred to special education and identifies the necessity for a stronger link between the design of a STEM program and the needs of a child with a disability. ...
Book
This book brings together a collection of work from around the world in order to consider effective STEM, robotics, and mobile apps education from a range of perspectives. It presents valuable perspectives—both practical and theoretical—that enrich the current STEM, robotics, and mobile apps education agenda. As such, the book makes a substantial contribution to the literature and outlines the key challenges in research, policy, and practice for STEM education, from early childhood through to the first school-age education. The audience for the book includes college students, teachers of young children, college and university faculty, and professionals from fields other than education who are unified by their commitment to the care and education of young children.
... When a robotics curriculum is designed to include problem-solving-based STEM activities, it can be of broader interest to students (Benitti, 2012). In such applications, an important element of problem solving is the storage and organization of information in the long-term memory (Kim & Tawfik, 2021). ...
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The present study focuses on the assessment of summer robotics camp designed for 7th grade students who were supposed to work on a STEM-related problem through modeling and design activities. It was exclusively investigated the effects of these activities on the STEM-related career interests and knowledge structures of students. The students were expected to develop basic robotics and design skills in the camp, and to use them in project design in the context of problem solving processes. The camp activities were designed in the alignment of P3 Task Taxonomy. A mixed design method was adapted in this study as it focused both on the effects of an experimental intervention and identification of the students' conceptual constructs. Accordingly, simultaneous and sequential data collection techniques were used to provide satisfactory responses to the research questions. The results showed that the students the students' career interest in engineering increased more significantly than the other STEM fields. Furthermore, word association tests that were applied before and after the camp, in order to assess the change in the students' knowledge structures with the keywords Coding, Design, Problem, Modeling, Space, and Robot showed that the number of terms associated with these keywords were increased. In a nutshell, the education activity provided in the context of this study reinforced the students' career interests in engineering in particular, and facilitated the development of their knowledge structures, and ability to define associations between terms.
... Consequently, several reviews have tried to categorize the STEM studies aiming to explore the potential benefits of this new way of teaching. Some representative reviews are: (a) Gao et al. (2020) found that although many curricula aimed at interdisciplinary topics, most assessments are monodisciplinary, (b) Cutumisu et al. (2019) found that most studies used multiple-choice questions, (c) Xia and Zhong (2018) found that observation and questionnaires used as main measurement tools, (d) Anwar et al. (2019) addressed the benefits of STEM education, and their findings showed that ER is a useful tool for learning even for students with no interest in STEM topics, (e) Benitti's (2012) findings showed that main subject were mathematics and physics, and (f) Tlili et al. (2020) referred to special education and identifies the necessity for a stronger link between the design of a STEM program and the needs of a child with a disability. ...
Chapter
Nowadays, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) tools are used in many schools promoting formal and informal learning. STEM framework covers the educational needs of various age-groups starting from pre-school up to university. With this framework, students develop knowledge and skills while dealing with real-world problems. In the previous years, several reviews have been published aimed at STEM studies. Nevertheless, these reviews do not investigate a specific age group. Thus, the present book chapter is a systematic literature review on STEM research in early childhood, focusing on STEM studies for students under 8 years old. For this purpose, the chapter includes articles, which were emerged from search keys in six scientific databases. The review presents some major characteristics of the studies such as: (a) the number of participants in the intervention (sample size), (b) the intervention objectives, (c) the size of groups, (d) the equipment type, (e) the materials used, and (f) the type of research design. According to the findings, among others, STEM education in early childhood seems to successfully meet the teaching objectives, the group size is usually between 2 and 4 students, the long-term studies are absent and the quantitative methods are limited.
... This would imply knowledge, skills and attitudes valuable for all citizens, enabling them to not only operate but also design and critically reflect on digital technologies that are increasingly pervading our society [34; 35]. As emerging from current discussions surrounding the socalled 21 st Century skills [16] and the need for education systems to revise themselves, educational robotics should also extend its scope beyond supporting the teaching of subjects that are closely related to the robotics field [36] to include transversal competences such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, teamwork and communication skills [31]. In Alimisis words: "Educational robotics should be seen as a tool to foster essential life skills (cognitive and personal development, team working) through which people can develop their potential to use their imagination, to express themselves and make original and valued choices in their lives" [31]. ...
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The need for critically reflecting on the deceptive nature of advanced technologies, such as social robots, is urging academia and civil society to rethink education and the skills needed by future generations. The promotion of critical thinking, however, remains largely unaddressed within the field of educational robotics. To address this gap and question if and how robots can be used to promote critical thinking in young children's education, we conducted an explorative design study named Bringing Shybo Home. Through this study, in which a robot was used as a springboard for debate with twenty 8-to 9-year-old children at school, we exemplify how the deceptive nature of robots, if embraced and magnified in order for it to become explicitly controversial, can be used to nurture children's critical mindset.
... In addition to the assembly and operation of hardware and device, ER has shown its potential in subjects beyond robotics [7]. Educational robotics plays a key role in the education of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) [8]. ...
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Educational robotics is an effective carrier of information technology education, making its way into classrooms. However, the design of the educational robotic arm kit and the study on the effect of robotic arms on students' thinking literacy remain to be completed. In this paper, iArm, a 6-DOF robotic arm consisting of a drive chassis, an arm body, and end tools, is presented. Its auxiliary modules, including the vision module and conveyor belt, and the curriculum targeting students' computational thinking are also developed to refine the current educational robotic arm kit. Furthermore, to explore the effectiveness of the iArm kit, thirteen high school students participated in the semester-long curriculum, completed assigned projects, and filled out the pre-test and post-test scales. By formative and summative evaluation, the result shows that the iArm kit effectively enhanced students' computational thinking.
... #CS4All, of course, rests upon a foundation of computing education provided by early pioneers such as Seymour Papert, Alan Perlis, Alan Kay, and Andrea diSessa. From advanced computer science courses (Ericson & Guzdial, 2014;Grover et al., 2015) to exploratory school-wide "Hour of Code" tutorials (Wilson, 2015) and robotics clubs (Benitti, 2012), learning technology through coding and computational thinking (Wing, 2006) has evolved into a forceful educational movement sweeping across the nation's schools. To be sure, there are multiple political forces acting on and shaping the broader aspirations of #CS4All, producing multiple tensions and contradictions that have not escaped the scrutiny of critical scholars. ...
... The results of this review suggest that ER generally favors the improvement of learning. However, it cannot be generalized, as studies report cases in which the improvement in learning was not verified [13]. ...
... Although ER has much potential to assist in teaching, learning gains are not guaranteed just by the simple application of robotics; there are several factors that can determine the outcome (Benitti, 2012). Such a factor is the level of structure that educators adopt in their activities. ...
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The study aimed to understand the effect of a structured versus an unstructured Educational Robotics (ER) curriculum on student's (a) quantity and type of programming errors in block-based programming, (b) ability to find and debug errors, and (c) engagement in the learning process. We worked with a sample of 35 elementary school students in two groups, experiencing one of the teaching approaches: structured versus unstructured ER curriculum. We employed a mixed-method approach based on video and screen recorded data from eight ER lessons, post-experience focus-group interviews, and post-experience questionnaires on students' engagement and debugging skills. Findings show that there is a list of errors commonly made by students in both groups. Moreover, the unstructured curriculum group was associated with significantly higher amount of errors than the structured curriculum group. Also, a structured curriculum was related to significantly greater efficiency in finding and debugging errors. However, the results revealed that students in the unstructured curriculum outperformed the structured curriculum in terms of their engagement levels.
... In teaching programming by using robots, ready-to-use kits such as Lego Mindstorms and Mbot equipped with sensors, motors and programmable microcontrollers are used, which can be easily mounted on each other. In addition, these kits develop students' (K12 and younger) skills in the fields of Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering (STEM), and help them learn subjects in these areas (Benitti, 2012;Eguchi, 2010). Recently, instead of off-the-shelf kits, programmable microcontrollers such as Arduino have been more widely used in teaching programming. ...
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The aim of this study is to examine the effect of robotic design with Arduino on students' attitudes towards programming and on their perceptions of self-efficacy in programming. The study group consisted of 25 sophomore students attending the Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technologies in a state university located in the south of Turkey. The study lasted 12 weeks and the participants performed robotic design activities with Arduino throughout the process. Firstly, participants prepared a prototype and then programmed it for 8 weeks, and they created their own designs in the remaining 4 weeks. The Computer Programming Attitude Scale and Computer Programming Self-Efficacy Scale were utilized as the data collection tools in this pretest-posttest experimental study. The findings revealed that robotic design activities with Arduino significantly improved the participants’ attitudes towards programming and programming self-efficacy. In addition, according to the participants’ views, the factors that cause this improvement can be listed as activities’ being enjoyable, facilitating and concretizing the process, being interesting and practical. Moreover, these robotic design activities were found to contribute to students’ understanding of finding bugs and the logic of programming.
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President Obama's initiative, “computer science for all,” has been a rallying slogan for promoting computer science in K-12 education. Although the participation of people of color in computer science (CS) has increased in the past several years, it is still drastically low and does not reflect the real picture of our society. This chapter explores how educational robotics as a learning tool can inspire underrepresented minorities including females and students of color to become interested in CS. Supported by Papert's constructionism theory, educational robotics effectively facilitates students' learning of various concepts in CS and STEM. Educational robotics is a learning tool which inspires students' interest in learning. It provides a learning environment that promotes students' learning of various CS concepts and computational thinking skills. Although robots naturally spark students' interests, to make it most effective, teachers are required effortfully to create learning opportunities that are authentic and meaningful for individual students.
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Tem havido um crescente interesse na inserção de atividades envolvendo programação física em ambientes educacionais, e há diversos trabalhos publicados que comentam sobre os benefícios propiciados por tais atividades, inclusive como forma de incentivar a criatividade em sala de aula. Entretanto, são ainda escassas as publicações científicas que apresentam análises empiricamente fundamentadas relacionadas à avaliação dos efeitos de atividades de programação física no desenvolvimento do potencial criativo de estudantes. A presente pesquisa investigou como a introdução de atividades de programação física no Ensino Fundamental II, a partir de uma abordagem que privilegia processos de exploração e experimentação, impactou o potencial e sentimento criativo dos estudantes. O currículo proposto, baseado no referencial teórico construcionista, foi elaborado com o objetivo de engajar cada estudante e de contribuir para o desenvolvimento de seu potencial criativo, confiança criativa e de novas perspectivas sobre o mundo e sobre si mesmo. Foi identificada a necessidade de adaptar e desenvolver materiais para a aplicação do currículo proposto, e para isso foi criado um kit de programação física, bem como novos recursos de aprendizagem. O currículo foi aplicado a partir de sucessivas reformulações em duas escolas particulares e em uma escola da rede pública. Durante a aplicação do currículo, além das observações em sala de aula e de conversas periódicas com os estudantes, foram utilizados três instrumentos de coleta de dados: (1) realização de entrevistas, (2) aplicação de questionários de percepção criativa e motivação para a aprendizagem e (3) aplicação de um teste de pensamento divergente. Os instrumentos (2) e (3) foram aplicados também a um grupo controle, com pré e pós-teste. A partir da análise das observações de sala de aula e das conversas realizadas com os estudantes, foram identificadas estratégias que podem auxiliar na implementação de currículos introdutórios de programação física no Ensino Fundamental II, bem como os desafios encontrados durante a aplicação da proposta. Os resultados indicam que o currículo proposto teve impacto positivo na criatividade dos estudantes, bem como em sua confiança criativa e motivação para aprendizagem. Os resultados sugerem ainda que os estudantes que participaram das atividades desenvolveram novas perspectivas a respeito de si mesmos e do mundo ao seu redor.
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The aim of this study was to explore the development of pre-service primary school teachers' STEM skills with Raspberry Pi activities. Data were collected from 16 pre-service teachers through semi-constructed interviews, reports, and a questionnaire. The results of the qualitative analysis showed that the participants developed the STEM skills mentioned in the literature such as confidence, computing, problem-solving, creativity, technological skills, and enhanced the learning potential of robotics. Moreover, the ready-to-use Python codes on Raspberry Pi platform could be an effective strategy for pre-service teachers with lack of programming to provide solutions on real-world problems. In addition, the participants successfully connected the Raspberry Pi, sensor kits, and Python scripts with real-world problems. This equipment motivated them to transpose a real-world problem to school knowledge. According to the results the combination of Raspberry Pi, sensors, and Python helped the participants upskill in computing.
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The chapter aims at helping educators and classroom teachers who are new to using educational robotics as a learning tool in their classrooms. It discusses the approaches using robotics as a learning tool - a tool perfectly suited for enabling constructionist learning in the classroom and how educational robotics can provide ‘all' students motivation to learn STEM and computing science concepts. Educational robotics as a learning tool requires teachers as well as students to shift from traditional pedagogical approaches to learner-centered active learning approaches. The chapter discusses how the shift can be made in successful ways and provides guidance to pre- and in-service teachers on how to implement educational robotics as a learning tool to reach and attract ‘all' students to promote their learning.
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It is widely known that when used intentionally and appropriately, technology and interactive media are effective tools to support learning and development. In recent years, there has been a push to introduce coding and computational thinking in early childhood education, and robotics is an excellent tool to achieve this. This chapter presents some results obtained in the development of a learning experience in computational thinking using Bee-Bot educational robotics. The experience involved 47 preschoolers of a kindergarten in Crete, Greece during the period 2019-2020. The study reports statistically significant learning gains between the initial and final assessment of children's computational thinking skills. It was found that children in the treatment group who engaged in the robotic curricular intervention performed better on CT tests. This finding shows that an enhanced teaching experience using robots was beneficial for improving young children's computational thinking skills. The implications for designing appropriate curricula using robots for kindergarteners are addressed.
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Children with autism spectrum disorders encounter many difficulties in their social interactions with other people. Impairments in verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as repetitive and stereotypical behaviors, are some of the most common characteristics of this disorder. Along with other treatments and methods, the use of robotics is a relatively new and promising field, which can be implemented in most classrooms. Socially assistive robotics (SAR) is a subcategory of robotic technology that emanated from social robotics and assistive robotics. SAR can be used to enhance literacy skills, social communication, adaptive behaviors, and emotion recognition. In this chapter, the authors discuss some of the most popular robotic tools used in autism interventions for school-aged children, as well as ways to implement robotic partners in inclusive settings.
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The way of approaching the difficulties in technological areas is opening potentialities for teaching and learning, considering the competences as actions that put into practice skills to solve problems. A clear example is the computational thinking that proposes a way of thinking and facing different challenges. Through the design-based research methodology and the ADDIE model, an instructional design is proposed to carry out activities using educational robotics, analyzing its impact on skills related to computational thinking. An educational intervention is carried out with students from 13 to 15 years old from the three grades of secondary education in Mexico. It was established that the student's reaction to a challenge is: a) Due to lack of confidence in his or her own abilities, it is difficult for him or her to face the problem. b) Knowledge of computer thinking allows him or her to think of a strategy to try to solve it. The results suggest that those who have notions about computer thinking have more facility to think and face the different challenges.
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This chapter addresses the alignment of educational robotics (ER) tools with classroom activities. To this end, it first introduces a conceptualization of ER activities describing the relevant cognitive artifacts and the learning theories underlying such activities. Based on this conceptual framework, a set of design and evaluation heuristics are presented, aimed at supporting developers and educators in aligning ER tools with classroom activities and vice versa. The heuristics were elaborated in several focus groups with 35 developers and educators experienced in the domain. To evaluate the methodology in authentic contexts, two case studies with groups of developers will be presented. Moreover, to illustrate the usefulness from an educator's point of view, another example will be presented in which the devised methodology was used to guide the design of an ER classroom activity.
Article
Introduction . The inclusion of schoolchildren in the development of robotics can serve as an effective method of popularising technical education and a means of vocational guidance work. Educational robotics can be viewed as a means of integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the context of school education, as a tool for developing flexible skills in students. The problem of the lack and/or incompetence of teaching staff in this area is a limiting factor in the development of children’s technical creativity. Aim. Based on the analysis of the development of educational robotics (a popular and promising direction of children’s technical creativity), the current research aimed to compare the trends of its implementation in different countries, identify problems arising on the way of integrating educational robotics into school and additional education, and outline ways to overcome these problems. Methodology and research methods . The methodological basis of the study was the theory of professional development of future teachers and the concept of forecasting the prospects in the field of education. The identification of problems and prospects for the integration of robotics into the education of schoolchildren was carried out by the method of thematic content-analysis of publications with a search depth of 10 years, placed in the Web of Science, Google Academy and eLibrary databases. The identification of the need for teachers in robotics in school and additional education was carried out on the basis of generalising the results obtained in the course of questioning the heads and teachers of children technical creativity centres. 275 respondents from 11 regions of Russia took part in the online survey based on Google forms. Diagnostics of teachers’ interests and readiness to receive additional education in educational robotics was carried out on the basis of a questionnaire survey of students in pedagogical areas of training. The study involved 185 students – future teachers from 6 universities in Russia. The equipment of the system of school and additional education in Russia and the availability of appropriate equipment for schoolchildren were studied on the example of one of the Russian regions. The authors obtained empirical data from the annual reports of educational institutions. The assessment of the availability and quality of methodological support for robotics classes was carried out by processing data from an online survey of teachers, in which 98 respondents took part. Results . Research papers on the development of educational robotics have been divided into three main groups: robotics as a means of STEM integration; robotics as a means of forming Soft Skills; robotics as a means of forming professional competencies among teachers. The most significant problems of integrating educational robotics into school and additional education are highlighted: weak material base for organising classes; absence or low qualification of existing teachers; lack of a clear systemic plan for the implementation of robotics in the education of schoolchildren; lack of educational and methodological support. As strategies for the provision of education with teachers in educational robotics, the following are proposed: introduction into the practice of professional training of teachers in the higher education system of the profile “Educational Robotics”; implementation of professional retraining under the “Educational Robotics” programme for teachers of computer science, mathematics, technology, physics and primary education; attracting students –future teachers to receive additional education at the stage of study at the university in the framework of professional training “Pedagogy of Additional Education: Robotics”. Scientific novelty . The problems of successful integration of robotics into school and additional education are identified and described, among which the leading one is the absence or low qualifications of existing teachers in educational robotics. The ways of overcoming the identified difficulties based on mutually beneficial cooperation of universities, schools and centres of additional education are outlined; the system-forming role of pedagogical universities in this process is outlined. The practical significance of the study consists in the possibility of using its results to determine the prospects for the development of educational robotics, as well as to select the optimal ways of professional training and/or retraining of teaching staff for the implementation of this type of activity.
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As of 2016, teaching computer science has been included in elementary education teaching syllabuses. This chapter focuses on pupil activity in class during ordinary computer science teaching–learning practices. It presents some case studies in classes from different cycles. The educational robot sequences put forward were designed and implemented by teachers, master trainers who had no specific training in technology or computer sciences. In these sequences, pupils have to learn to program BeeBots. For these sequences, the pedagogical approaches allowed space for investigation through handling and experimentation carried out by the pupils. In order to overcome the problems encountered by the pupils in gaining an understanding of the robot, the teachers provided guidance that took two forms: developing pedagogical artifacts and establishing procedures. The interface, the programming language and the movement mode of the robot probably had roles in the learning process.
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Traditional PID controllers are widely used in industrial applications due to their simple computational architecture. However, the gain parameters of this simple computing architecture are fixed, and in response to environmental changes, the PID parameters must be continuously adjusted until the system is optimized. This research proposes to use the most important deep reinforcement learning (DRL) algorithm in deep learning as the basis and to modulate the gain parameters of the PID controller with fuzzy control. The research has the ability and advantages of reinforcement learning and fuzzy control and constructs a tracking unmanned wheel system. The mobile robotic platform uses a normalization system during computation to reduce the effects of reading errors caused by the wheeled mobile robot (WMR) of environment and sensor processes. The DRL-Fuzzy-PID controller architecture proposed in this paper utilizes degree operation to avoid the data error of negative input in the absolute value judgment, thereby reducing the amount of calculation. In addition to improving the accuracy of fuzzy control, it also uses reinforcement learning to quickly respond and minimize steady-state error to achieve accurate calculation performance. The experimental results of this study show that in complex trajectory sites, the tracking stability of the system using DRL-fuzzy PID is improved by 15.2% compared with conventional PID control, the maximum overshoot is reduced by 35.6%, and the tracking time ratio is shortened by 6.78%. If reinforcement learning is added, the convergence time of the WMR system will be about 0.5 s, and the accuracy rate will reach 95%. This study combines the computation of deep reinforcement learning to enhance the experimentally superior performance of the WMR system. In the future, intelligent unmanned vehicles with automatic tracking functions can be developed, and the combination of IoT and cloud computing can enhance the innovation of this research.
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In recent years, computer programming has reappeared in school curricula with the aim of transmitting knowledge and skills beyond the simple ability to code. However, there are different ways of teaching this subject and very few experimental studies compare plugged-in and unplugged programming learning. The purpose of this study is to highlight the impact of plugged-in or unplugged learning on students' performance and subjective experience. To this end, we designed an experimental study with 217 primary school students divided into two groups and we measured their knowledge of computational concepts, ability to solve algorithmic problem, motivation toward the instruction, self-belief and attitude toward science. The programming sessions were designed to be similar between the two conditions, only the tools were different. Computers and Scratch software were used in the plugged-in group while the unplugged group used paper instructions, pictures, figurines and body movements instead. The results show better learning performance in the plugged-in group. Furthermore, although motivation dropped slightly in both groups, this drop was only significant in the unplugged condition. Gender also seems to be an important factor, as girls exhibit a lower post-test motivation and a lower willingness to pursue their practice in programming outside the school context. However, this effect on motivation was only observable in the plugged-in group which suggests that educational programming software may have a positive but gendered motivational impact.
Article
Spatial language and ability play important roles in children’s cognitive development. Spatial ability in kindergarten predicts achievement in reading, math, science, and technology in primary school and therefore constitutes an important skill set in preparation for school entrance. Good spatial thinking skills are required for learning in school. The study’s purpose was to examine the contribution of robot programming to an intervention aimed at promoting spatial language (spatial vocabulary) and spatial ability (mental rotation, visual-spatial memory) among preschool children at risk for Specific learning disability (SLD). The sample of 84 preschool children participating in the study was randomly assigned to three groups: (1) intervention group with robot programming, (2) intervention group without robot programming, and (3) a control group. The findings indicate that children exposed to the robot-based intervention exhibited the greatest improvement in spatial vocabulary and mental rotation tests when compared to the children who participated in either the intervention without robot programming or in the control group. No significant differences between the groups were found in post-intervention visual-spatial memory. The findings indicate that robot programming activity contributes unique added value in attempts to foster spatial vocabulary and mental rotation.
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COVID-19 has brought forth wide unexpected variations in every field of life, including education. Drastic conversion from physical to virtual education has affected learning in various ways. Researchers, educators, and teachers consider online feedback a critical skill since it provides an essential base for students’ effective learning and performance (Mohamadi, 2018). Similarly, supervisors started to review students’ dissertations/research and provide feedback on several issues online at the postgraduate level (Hounsell, 2021) during the pandemic. Some initial problems were caused while communicating online because without an app designed adequately for feedback, both (supervisees & supervisors) came on an online system (i.e., Zoom, Teams, or Google meet, see Aslam et al., 2021). Supervisor and supervisee communication directly affects research and academic production during the study time, and the method of communication plays a vital role. Since the beginning of COVID-19, it has changed the way of communication and supervisory feedback, and at present most of the communication is online almost all over the world.
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Augmented Reality (AR) is a novel technology utilized for merging real and virtual elements, enhancing the physical world. Developing AR applications in Robotics has been of interest in recent years. The current paper proposes a shared workspace for learning using Augmented Reality. The objective is to implement this approach using robots, not to execute collaborative robotic tasks but to establish a collaborative learning environment among students and social robots. We use an Augmented Reality application to superimpose virtual objects to the users’ real world, aiming to achieve joint attention at a common point of interest among humans and social robots. The social robot perceives what occurs in the augmented environment and interacts (e.g., sharing information, making comments and gestures, giving constructive feedback to the users, etc.), intending to support humans to achieve the learning goals of the activities. The virtual objects are approached through AR with the aims and scopes of educational material in a learning process. The environment that this paper describes will be the testbed for exploring and further researching the proposed approach; handling virtual objects as educational material and aiming to joint attention at a common point of interest among humans and robots in this Augmented Reality shared world. In future studies, research and analysis of the characteristics and effectiveness of this approach will be conducted.
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The use of digital technology in school settings is increasing every year, where one aspect of digital technology is robotics in education. In relation to that and of uttermost importance is the issue of how to design teaching and learning activities that includes robot technology in education. In this paper we investigate how open-ended designs can allow children to playfully explore robotics in educational settings, drawing from workshops carried out with three third grade classes of Danish school children, aged 9–10 years old, that interact with robotics in a cross-case study. By the use of video recordings, the unit of analysis focuses on the activities with a special interest on children’s interactions with the robots and with each other. The research questions posed in the study are: (1) What happens when school children use robotics designed for open-ended interactions? And (2) In what ways do children’s playful experiences unfold while engaged with robotics? The study applies a qualitative approach and the theoretical framework used describes open-ended designs as resources to develop playful experiences. In doing so, Vygotsky’s theory on mediation, Hutt’s studies into children’s play with novel objects, and Bird and Edwards’ digital play framework are used as an analytical framework. The results of this study imply that by using an open-ended design in the teaching activity with the robot, which included an exploratory and problem-solving approach, conditions were created for playful and collaborative learning.
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In the last five years, the Italian Ministry of Education has placed its focus on digital skills, recognizing them as fundamental and indispensable for the growth of future citizens in the information age. It has thus backed projects aimed at developing computational thinking and digital creativity at school. One of the highest-funded of such projects is “ Più vicini al nostro territorio—Valorizziamo i monumenti di Tolentino … giocando con Scratch e App Inventor ” (Closer to our territory—appreciating the value of Tolentino’s monuments … while playing on Scratch and App Inventor). In this paper we describe this project, its vertical path, and the results of the first activities, which have already taken place in a primary school. These results show the progression of the skills and competences defined in the National Operational Programme document “For school 2014–2020” (Axis I Education, Objective 10.2, Improving students’ key competences), and those set out in the National Plan for Digital Education.
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This paper suggests that robotics can provide a vehicle for guiding primary and secondary school children toward an effective understanding of programming and engineering principles. It observes that children find robotics stimulating and motivating, and that their interest in, and focus on, ‘making the robot do what I want’ leads them ‘via the back door’ to learn about programming and engineering in a way that is both well-grounded and generaliseable. These observations arise from empirical studies of children participating in robotics competitions: we conducted observations and interviews with all the participating teams at two robotics events (one regional, one international), and we followed one young robotics team in a case study. The children had almost all built their robots using LEGO MindStorms for specific competitions, with soccer, rescue and dance events. The children typically worked in teams, building robots as an extra-curricular activity supported by a teacher/mentor. The children came from a variety of educational and social backgrounds. The paper considers what makes robotics motivating to children, including children who are not considered ‘technically oriented’. It describes learning that has emerged from children's experiences in building and programming robots. It describes examples of children learning subjects that they previously considered difficult and inaccessible, in order to solve problems in robotics. It describes examples of children identifying and understanding principles, concepts, and elements of practice that are fundamental to programming and engineering. It describes further how secondary school students working in teams learned that this programming and engineering knowledge has a social context.
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Despite the growing popularity of robotics competitions such as FIRST LEGO League, robotics activities are typically not found in regular K-12 classrooms. We speculate that, among other reasons, limited adoption is due to the lack of empirical evidence demonstrating the effect of robotics activities on curricular goals. This paper presents a mixed methods study exploring the impact of a summer robotics camp on middle school students' physics content knowledge and scientific inquiry skills. It was found that the camp enhanced students' physics content knowledge but failed to improve their skills in conducting scientific inquiry. Qualitative data provided an explanation of the findings.
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This paper reports the results of a study of the relationship of robotics activity to the use of science literacy skills and the development of systems understanding in middle school students. Twenty-six 11–12-year-olds (22 males and 4 females) attending an intensive robotics course offered at a summer camp for academically advanced students participated in the research. This study analyzes how students utilized thinking skills and science process skills characteristic of scientifically literate individuals to solve a robotics challenge. In addition, a pre/post test revealed that course participants increased their systems understanding, t (21) = 22.47, p < .05. It is argued that the affordances of the robotics environment coupled with a pedagogical approach emphasizing open-ended, extended inquiry prompts the utilization of science literacy-based thinking and science process skills and leads to increased systems understanding. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 45: 373–394, 2008
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This paper suggests new strategies for introducing students to robotics technologies and concepts, and argues for the importance of providing multiple entry points into robotics. In particular, the paper describes four strategies that have been successful in engaging a broad range of learners: (1) focusing on themes, not just challenges; (2) combining art and engineering; (3) encouraging storytelling; (4) organizing exhibitions, rather than competitions. The paper describes a new technology, called the PicoCricket, that supports these strategies by enabling young people to design and program artistic creations that integrate light, sound, music, and motion. The paper concludes with an analysis of robotics activities in three educational environments, examining how these new strategies and technologies can engage young people with diverse interests and learning styles.
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Popular interest in robotics has increased astonishingly in the last few years. Robotics is seen by many as offering major new benefits in education at all levels. Before rushing to exploit this popularity, educators should ask serious questions about the universality and longevity of the robotics phenomenon. Is it a fashion? To be useful, the energy released by robotics must be sustained and universal, and the means of exploiting it must be systematic. Universities define their own robotics curriculum, but most schools lack both the resources and the freedom to do this, and must work with a national curriculum. If it can be shown that robotics has sustained potential in education, it seems inevitable that new ways need to be found to integrate it into the school curriculum.
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In this paper, we reflect upon the employment of educational robotics as a tool to help the learning process inside elementary school. The primary objective is to introduce an environment for educational robotics, creating a basis for adoption of new educational methods. Based on such technological tools, we came out with a motivating and innovative instrument in the process of teaching and learning that can be used as a tool against digital exclusion. We show experiments and results of a digital inclusion project running at the periphery of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. The main objective is to lead children to learn about and accept the new technological resources, in this case computers and robots. We report the learning process of digitally excluded children as well as the benefits of educational robotics in the intellectual formation of marginalized children in Brazilian society. We verify, in practice, that robots and computer can be combined as a very nice tool to enrich and stimulate the teaching work, optimizing the pedagogical practice. This is a social initiative that certainly benefits present and future generations.
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The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of a one-year regular robotic toys (lego) training on school pupils’ performance. The underlying pedagogical perspective is the constructionist theory, where the main idea is that knowledge is constructed in the mind of the pupil by active learning.The investigation has been made in two steps. The first step was before the treatment and the second after treatment. For both cases we have constructed and included control groups. The data was gathered from different pupils from two different age categories, from different classes, from different schools, and finally from different places in Sweden. We have investigated whether the approach of involving the lego training in the schools activities might lead to improving the adoption process and that the pupils would perform better in mathematics and technique. Our null hypothesis states that the lego robots do not have a positive or negative effect on the pupils’ ability to solve mathematical and logical problems. A one-way ANOVA test leads to acceptance of the null hypothesis. However, when ANOVA test was performed on sub groups of pupils, the null hypothesis was rejected in some cases. This indicates that lego training may be useful for some groups of students. Furthermore, a hypothesis test regarding certain correlation measures was conducted, supporting this theory. In general, the statistical analysis suggest that there is no obvious over-all effect of lego, though there are significant positive effects of lego for sub groups of pupils. In all, we find the results promising enough to suggest a larger experiment to be performed.The pupils have different learning styles in their approach to LEGO training. The role of the teacher, as a mediator of knowledge and skills, was crucial for coping with problems related to this kind of technology. The teacher must be able to support the pupils and to make them understand the LEGO Dacta material on a deeper level.
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This study aims at critically reviewing recently published scientific literature on the use of computer and video games in Health Education (HE) and Physical Education (PE) with a view: (a) to identifying the potential contribution of the incorporation of electronic games as educational tools into HE and PE programs, (b) to present a synthesis of the available empirical evidence on the educational effectiveness of electronic games in HE and PE, and (c) to define future research perspectives concerning the educational use of electronic games in HE and PE. After systematically searching online bibliographic databases, 34 relevant articles were located and included in the study. Following the categorization scheme proposed by [Dempsey, J., Rasmussen, K., & Lucassen, B. (1996). The instructional gaming literature: Implications and 99 sources. University of South Alabama, College of Education, Technical Report No. 96-1], those articles were grouped into the following four categories: (a) research, (b) development, (c) discussion and (d) theory. The overviewed articles suggest that electronic games present many potential benefits as educational tools for HE and PE, and that those games may improve young people’s knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours in relation to health and physical exercise. Furthermore, the newly emerged physically interactive electronic games can potentially enhance young people’s physical fitness, motor skills and motivation for physical exercise. The empirical evidence to support the educational effectiveness of electronic games in HE and PE is still rather limited, but the findings present a positive picture overall. The outcomes of the literature review are discussed in terms of their implications for future research, and can provide useful guidance to educators, practitioners and researchers in the areas of HE and PE, and to electronic game designers.
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The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of one year of regular "LEGO" training on pupils' performances in schools. The underlying pedagogical perspective is the constructivist theory, where the main idea is that knowledge is constructed in the mind of the pupil by active learning. The investigation has been made in two steps. The first step was before the training and the second after training. For both cases we have constructed and included control groups. A logistic model is applied to the data under consideration to investigate whether the LEGO training leads to improving pupil's performance in the schools. To analyse the opinion studies, GLM for matched pair models and the Quasi symmetry methods have been used. Preliminary results show better performances in mathematics for the trained group in grade five, and pupils who are good at mathematics tend to be more engaged and seem to be more successful when working with LEGO. The study has also shown that pupils have different learning styles in their approach to LEGO training. The role of the teacher, as a mediator of knowledge and skills, was crucial for coping with problems related to this kind of technology. The teacher must be able to support the pupils and to make them understand the LEGO Dacta material on a deeper level.
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Mobile robots (MR) can be used as valuable educational tools due to their complexity and different types of elements included in the same unit. In this paper, it will be analyzed the structure of a mobile robot specially developed by authors for educational purposes. Some possible experiments and how these can be implemented will be also presented.
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