A robot can make a shy kid talk, motivate the child who is not interested about studying, or having any conversations… A robot can be a teacher when there are not enough qualified teachers; a robot never gets tired, just keeps on repeating or listening, whatever you need. It understands your needs and makes the learning miracle possible. Is it a science fiction dream, or something we are now starting to understand and accept as a reality?
The robot revolution has started. That has happened for sure. There already are hotels that are driven by humanoid robots, elderly homes where NAO robots help stimulate patients with dementia, and dentist receptions where NAO robots talk with kids so that they forget to be scared.
This is reality in modern era: Robots are integrating with our everyday life
This is not science fiction, but the reality of 2018. Robots are changing the way we grow up, learn, take care of ourselves, have vacations, and get old. Digitalization is not just about going to Facebook, chatting with your grandkids or paying bills online. It is you and a robot, face to face, having human interactions.
In this video, you can see adult learners studying Finnish language with a NAO robot using Elias Robot application.
Video of adult learners
Using a robot in the classroom is something new and exciting for both teachers and learners. A social robot can get the attention of the student and give the first push towards learning.
In one of our customer’s schools, there was a boy who had never said a word in the classroom. With the robot app, he kept on talking the whole hour. But it is not just about motivating. A robot can be there for you when you need to have a conversation – and he keeps your secrets, never laughs at you, is always encouraging, he does not get tired if you speak slowly, he is there for you and you can follow him as you would follow a guide when you are in a new place. He is there to help you.
This is reality in modern era: Robots are something we cannot understand yet
So why do all the schools not buy a robot, if it’s such a great addition to the teacher’s classroom team? ”There are many principals who do not know how to use robots in the classroom”, says Johanna Hemminki, the leading specialist in robot based learning in Nordics and the CEO of Utelias Technologies Oy.
”There is no point in buying a 6000€’s humanoid robot for a school if you just use it for coding lessons”, says Johanna. “There are many everyday school exercises that you can upgrade with the robot. It is a huge jump in efficiency we can make in learning when equipping robots to boost learning subject studies, especially the learning of communication skills”, Johanna says.
”Just the presence of a NAO robot as one of the coaches in the subject lesson makes studying more interesting. The robot is between the teacher and the learner. It’s like a peer who is a good example of a motivated and hardworking pupil, but at the same time full of the answers, like a teacher”, Johanna says.
Johanna is giving workshops about how to use and program humanoid robots for the classroom. ”In the latest teacher hackathon, teachers found out how to use robots in job interview trainings. There is no limit when you start thinking about how to use social robot to teaching social skills”, Johanna says. “It is powerful to see kids programming the teacher of their dreams, and teachers cloning their expertise using robots to make the learning process the most effective and engaging possible.