In general terms, educational robotics supports the youngest to apply their knowledge of physics, mathematics, logic, etc., while acquiring other skills such as teamwork, the development of real projects and problem-solving. Within this area, two types of use of programming and robotics can be distinguished as support within the classroom: robotics and educational programming, and programming and robotics as a social element.
Educational use consists of a set of physical or programming elements that motivate students to construct, program, reason logically and create new interfaces or devices; here, programming and robotic technologies are especially beneficial in teaching STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics).
On the other hand, as a social element, programming and robotics can be used as a game or gamification, so that autonomous or semi-autonomous systems interact with humans or other physical agents or software in roles such as coach, partner, tangible device or registration of information.
Today there are already thousands of tutorials (online videos, assembly instructions, texts, etc.) and kits that facilitate the introduction into the world of robotics, both within the classrooms and in a particular way. A clear example is DYOR, an educational package created by professors and students of the Polytechnic University of Valencia that allows ESO and FP students to learn how to make robots easily.
Another example would be Next 2.0, a curriculum robotics project designed by the Edelvives company for work within the classroom from the preschool-to-primary period, relying on additional material for each student, guides for the teacher, as well as various applications; The main objective of Next 2.0 is to initiate programming knowledge to the little ones for the development of prevention, planning and development skills of the trial-error process, in a cooperative and problem-solving context.
Digital Education To The Youngest
In addition to all the facilities already mentioned, companies like Telefónica also support the insertion of robotics and programming in the classroom. In this sense, during the last school year, Telefónica launched the first edition of the National Interscholastic Programming and Robotics Contest in which students from almost 400 schools worked in teams creating technological and innovative solutions to participate.
On the other hand, Talentum promotes digital education from programs such as Talentum Schools, which offers children and young people free training and knowledge sharing in digital skills in schools throughout Spain.
Together, robotics and programming introduce an extraordinary dimension to the learning experience, since computational power is not only located on a screen but also intangible objects that share a physical space with students and the possibility of being altered for the environment.
Learning through robotics increases the commitment of the youngest in activities based on manipulation, the development of motor skills, eye-hand coordination and a way of understanding abstract ideas. In addition, robot-based activities provide an appropriate context for cooperative behaviour and teamwork.