Using robots to teach may seem like something from the Twilight Zone. This project shows how accessible robotics can be in the classroom and how they can inspire students to think outside the box.
Wilderness School and Maitland Lutheran School are two of the Case Studies in a three-year research project the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA) is conducting in partnership with Swinburne University, the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland. This project is creating new understandings about the impact of humanoid robots on:
The teachers participating in this research have commented that the complexity and sophistication of the students’ computational thinking and coding surpassed their expectations and made them see their role as a teacher and their students as learners, in new and different ways.
Thomas and Pink are two robots who have been spent time at several schools in the region. These videos explore two schools who worked with the humanoid robots and introduced the Digital Technologies curriculum into their classrooms.
Maitland Lutheran School, a F-9 rural school in South Australia, used humanoid robots to introduce the Digital Technologies subject through the lens of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cross-curriculum priority. The school explored how robots could be used to re-invigorate the “sleeping” language of the traditional owners of the land (the Narungga people) into the classroom.
Wilderness School is an ELC–Year 12 inner city school for girls. The school used the robots across multiple curriculum areas through various projects based on helping vulnerable members of the community. Students learned about problem solving, resilience and communication. Teachers created groups across year levels to introduce students to each other and to facilitate student led learning.
Both schools created programs for the robot to speak, perform dances and movement that included; drag and drop programming, manual timelines, visual recognition and facial recognition. Students worked with virtual and real humanoid robots to develop their programming skills.