Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why Kids Prefer Robots To Teachers And Parents

Great article  from Forbes:
"Why Kids Prefer Robots To Teachers And Parents"

"A new study finds that kids not only love robots, but also that robots benefit kids in the classroom. The implications of this “benefit,” however, might not seem so benign on closer examination.

The study, “Robots @ School,” was implemented by Latitude, an international research consultancy, in association with the LEGO Learning Institute and Project Synthesis, an Australia-based idea consultancy. It asked 350 students, ages 8-12, from Australia, France, Germany, South Africa, the UK and U.S. to write and illustrate a short story answering a simple question: What would happen if robots were a part of your everyday life at school and beyond? Thirty-eight percent of the children wanted a robot to learn with, while thirty-eight percent wanted a robot to play with. However, based on student answers, they found that kids blurred the lines between learning and play. For example, the researchers found that kids had their robot make games out of their homework. According to the study researchers, and as summarized in this charming infographic, “Learning becomes fun, play becomes knowledge.” Because of this, the researchers deduced that robots could unleash untapped potential in school-age children frustrated with the learning process.

Robot For An Only Child

“On the surface, this study is about robots but, more importantly, it’s about a new paradigm for learning and creativity, which kids – using robots as a focal point – are helping us to uncover,” enthusiastically explained Steve Mushkin, founder and president of Latitude. “Education and learning are moving, at least in many children’s eyes, beyond acts of knowledge transmission toward acts of exploration and creation. As participants in this new model, robots and other intelligent technologies could help unleash the inherent and expansive capabilities of each child in ways that we’ve only begun to conceive.”...

Read the full article at its source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesmarshallcrotty/2012/02/03/kids-prefer-robots-to-teachers-and-parents/ 

New Blog Roll: MAKE - NORM'S ROBOTICS - Mindstorms Podcast - LEGO Teacher

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chemhound: Student Created Robot Dog to Monitor Our Toxic Environment

"Students in Natalie Jeremijenko's UCSD electronics class hack a robot dog to sense pollution on the San Diego campus, which used to be a military base. The robot dog doesn't always work as planned, but is very life-like! (and cute)"

Friday, January 11, 2013

New and Exciting Robotics Materials: EV3

There seems to be a good deal of buzz on the web about a new variety of LEGO Mindstorms robotics materials called EV3. While we're waiting for its release, here are some videos and links to inform:

From the Kid's Perspective...

From the Teacher's Perspective...

- The LEGO Mindstorms website's announcment of EV3:
- Engadget article: "Lego Mindstorms EV3 arrives tailored for mobile, infrared and more hackability" http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/07/lego-mindstorms-ev3-arrives-tailored-for-mobile-apps/
-  ABC News Video: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/video/consumer-electronics-show-ces-2013-recap-highlights-lego-18161363

- WIRED Magazine's Geek Mom Column: "New Lego EV3 Mindstorms Hands On"