“Technology is more than just a tool but an evocative object to think with, and an engine of social and cultural change”
Robert Fitzgerald, Director of the INSPIRE Centre
University of Canberra
For a teacher, holding students’ attention can be a difficult task. Several studies have focused on providing attention-grabbing tips for the classroom but still every student has different needs. This situation may change when the teacher’s new companion is a robot.
Much has been written on what a learning environment should look like nowadays. Learning should be active, interest driven, authentic and self-directed. However there are situations when this can be hard to achieve.
Virtual Robots and Robots have been used in education for the last years proving successful developments in students’ capacity to learn and focus. Pupils stop being passive targets of boring teaching methods and become active learners, showing initiative and willingness to be involved in something as new and exciting as interacting with a robot.
The Spanish company Adele Robots offers two options for teaching improvement in the classroom. Having a personalized virtual assistant for a student, even at an early age, can guarantee a better organization, a successful management of tasks, schedules, as well as improve the student’s efficiency and capacity to learn. The company’s online platform, FIONA, gives the customer the possibility to create their own intelligent character or virtual robot. From teachers to students, having the assistance of this cognitive character can better the teaching environment and develop a growing interest in new technologies and their cornucopia of possibilities.
According to evidence emerging from a trial at a school in Birmingham by the Autism Center for Education and Research, autistic children may learn better from robots than from human teachers. Technology is predictable, clear and motivational. Adele Robots has already introduced Tico, their intelligent social humanoid, to the classrooms. Tico immediately catches students’ attention, makes everything funnier and easier, develops children’s social interaction and communication skills and has become the teacher’s favorite companion. It is much easier to learn when people feel safe and motivated.
Thanks to companies like Adele Robots, the education system can be improved, which would immediately trigger a bettering in students’ efficiency and eagerness to learn. If students—and teachers—are given the time and opportunity to use robots like Tico or virtual assistants like FIONA, this will allow them to become active problem solvers with an interest in discovering and using new technologies, a critical aspect than has relevance across all curriculum areas, and that results in a greater human potential, creativity, effort and participation.