Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Borrow a Robot for Your Classroom

This attractive offer appeared in my email inbox this morning:
Click on the image above

Here's a little background on this robot which appears to have great potential for Education:

"Robots Make Computer Science Fun Again
The long-term trend for interest in computer science at the university level is relatively bleak. As the graph at above makes apparent, interest has declined precipitously since the 2001 bursting of the dot-com bubble, leading to something of an existential crisis in the field of computer science instruction.

The latest survey on the subject, which charts 2007-08 data, showed a widely-reported up-tick in
enrollment of 8 percent, which is great for a year-on-year change, but neglects the long-term trend.

One has to wonder whether it’s the very ubiquity of computers that has made them uninteresting to students–note the spike of interest in the early 80’s, when the advent of personal computers slaked a pent-up demand for access to the instruments that everyone believed would define the future.

Robots, in contrast, are still rare in our everyday lives–plus, they’re the furthest thing from remote and abstract. So goes the reasoning behind a new effort to get them into classrooms, described earlier this month in a paper by Tom Lauwers and Illah Nourbakhsh, in which they unveiled the Finch..."

Read the full article at its source: http://www.technologyreview.com/view/419894/robots-make-computer-science-fun-again/

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