Robots and Remote Learning: Continuing Education in the Wake of a Pandemic

As we all try to rearrange our lives and routines to adjust to our new temporary lifestyles, the educational system is faced with navigating seriously uncharted territory. From higher educational institutions to preschools, administrators and educators are faced with the decision as to whether or not it is safe to continue on with traditional teaching methods, keeping schools in session. The unprecedented situation has left everyone feeling confused, overwhelmed, and uncertain, and the answer for many has been to move the lessons to online/remote classrooms. 

According to UNESCO, currently, over 800 million children are out of school. With that, schools are looking into, or making moves towards options such as remote or online learning, involving a variety of technology integrations, leaving parents feeling a mixture of emotions from nervousness and apprehension to confusion.

So, what can parents do to help the transition to remote learning? How can families facilitate learning when faced with the anxiety of a pandemic? 

First, the majority of learning happens when children are presented with a question. The simple act of allowing your children to experiment and explore while facilitating with open-ended questions, or questions that do not require a yes or no answer, build an optimal learning experience. 

Additionally, read to your children. This may seem like an obvious approach to fostering remote learning, but it shouldn’t be underestimated. Reading, and developing a peaceful and conducive reading environment, will build language, cognitive thinking, problem-solving skills and so much more. 

While remote or online learning naturally requires a certain level of screen time, parents shouldn’t get caught up in the trap of over-utilizing and relying on screens to educate children during school shutdowns. There are other ways and other methods that are equally, if not more, effective than Chromebooks, laptops, and iPads. 

How can robotics and artificial intelligence come to educational service in the wake of a pandemic?

Many educators and parents alike, as well as school board officials and government officials, are concerned on a multitude of levels as COVID-19 forces school districts to move to online instruction. Educational robots, such as Roybi Robot can facilitate and encourage continuous learning at home in fun and engaging manners.  Educators and parents are alarmed regarding the effect that remote learning will have on students’ language development. A significant part of classroom instruction is centered on conversation skills and developing language. However, as highlighted here, ROYBI is specially designed for facilitating this development and guiding children to reach appropriate language milestones. ROYBI encourages children to listen attentively, repeat and engage in discussions that can foster analytical competencies; skills that are developed by teachers repeatedly in classrooms. 

Additionally, social-emotional education is an area of apprehension for parents and educators as Coronavirus forces us to remote instruction. We feel more confident in the development of standard academics but worry about whether children are receiving enough peer interaction and emotional development while quarantined in their homes. Raising emotionally secure children can be challenging in today’s society, but with the help of artificial intelligence and robotics, the burden can be lessened. 

As we learn more about COVID-19 and begin to institute more social restrictions, it is imperative that we are considering alternative means to education. Assisting in developing children that are academically strong and emotionally fulfilled is a very real, and very critical focus of our education systems and with the face-to-face element significantly reduced, the answer, we believe, lies in artificial intelligence and robotics. 

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