There’s no question that robots are here to stay. In future decades, they’ll be a part of every industry; people will interact with them extensively every day. Therefore, it’s wise to introduce children to them as soon as possible.
Better yet, when kids work and play with electronic pals, they can learn many new hard and soft skills. These lessons will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
The Sponges That Are Kids’ Minds
In general, it’s easier for young children to learn, say, new languages and musical instruments than it is for adults. Why is that? Well, the brains of young children are designed for absorbing new things constantly. Their minds are oriented toward discoveries; it’s nothing less than a biological need.
By contrast, the brains of older individuals are geared toward recognizing things they already know and analyzing situations they’re basically familiar with.
So it is with robots. Children can quickly learn all kinds of lessons from these artificially intelligent creations, from vocabulary words in foreign languages to the way robots’ mechanical parts are put together.
On top of that, children just have a natural enthusiasm and unselfconsciousness. Thus, they can give robots their complete attention and even their love. And they can develop protective feelings for robots just as they would for their pets.
Robots as Teachers
At this point, robots are poised to become major players in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education.
To start with, when young students realize that robots are mechanical figures, it can stimulate a fascination with electronics. They’ll probably want to know how their robots function and, later on, how other common machines work. This curiosity can turn into an enduring passion for engineering and technology.
In recent years, coding has emerged as a critical ability for many careers. For many young students, though, the process of coding can seem abstract, even a little foreboding.
However, students can apply their coding lessons to their robots, in the process altering the way those machines speak and move. As a result, the subject becomes tangible and truly exciting.
Students often adore the way their robots look, too, which can be a springboard for art lessons. For example, a teacher could compare famous sculptures to the faces of classroom robots. He or she could then assign students to make their own sculptures. Likewise, the appearance of robots could spark discussions about symmetry, patterns, and other artistic topics.
Young Female Programmers
Robots seem to have an especially profound impact on young girls. In April 2017, the University of Washington released the results of an educational study that involved robots. Teachers presented computer programming lessons to coed groups of 6-year-old children. One was a hands-on lesson with robots. Another took the form of a story told through a card game. The final lesson was comprised of a question-and-answer session.
The results were clear. The girls who participated in the robot activity were 42 percent more likely to be engrossed in the topic than the girls in the other groups. Moreover, the girls who used the robots expressed significantly more confidence in the subject matter.
In the end, robots like Roybi Robot— which are intended for children between the ages of 3 and 7 — can play a wide range of educational roles. They track children’s learning and send progress reports to parents and teachers, preventing students from falling behind. They let teachers review lessons remotely. They tell stories, play games, and even cry or laugh at appropriate times. They’re beloved companions with circuits, role models with wires.