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Teachers Want More Training Before Introducing Robots into the Classroom

Teachers Want More Training Before Introducing Robots into the Classroom

Robots as teaching aids are an increasing trend in the K-12 classroom these days, but many teachers would like more training before implementing such tools themselves.

Recently, a "group from NCCR Robotics and LSRO, EPFL completed a study focusing on teachers who had completed training sessions for the Thymio educational robot,” says Robohub.

For those unfamiliar, Thymio is an educational tool that was developed in Europe and is a great resource for teaching computer science and beyond.

According to computer science teacher and blogger Alfred Thompson, Thymio’s most notable features include: http://blog.acthompson.net/2015/12/thymioan-interesting-looking-robot-fo...

  • a large number of sensors and actuators
  • an educative interactivity based on light and touch
  • a programming environment featuring graphical and text programming

Many articles have been written about the pedagogical benefits of using robots like Thymio in the classroom, especially when it comes to introducing computer science concepts to learners of all ages.

In Europe, robots like Thymio are taking classrooms by storm; in France, "a new set of exercises distributed to 10,000 French schools and is to be adopted for the 2016-2017 school year,” says Robohub.com.

But in order for robots as learning tools to take off in U.S. classrooms, teachers might need a little more convincing and a lot more training.

According to the study from NCCR Robotics, "not only did teachers tend to be more sure of the abilities of their students to use the robots than of their own, meaning that they did not always feel comfortable to include robots in their lessons, but also that they were more likely to incorporate robots into teaching plans if they felt that they would also learn something about robotics themselves.”

This, Robohub says, points to need for teacher training sessions that focus on the possibilities of integrating robots into the classroom. This is especially relevant as the U.S. works diligently to improve computer science education in its K-12 schools.

"It is generally understood that robotics is a significant part of the future of society, and this latest paper addresses not just the acceptance of robots by the children who we aim to teach, but the acceptance of those who will be teaching them.”

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

7/13/2016

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