Week 10 Response

Edutainment Robotics as Learning Tool is an article about the research project done with university students to investigate cognitive strategies using the Lego MindStorms robotics kit.
The researchers took 28 university students ages 19 - 21 who were enrolled in an 11-week Robotics laboratory program.  These students were to use the Lego Mindstorms kit to work together in groups and program the robot to complete specific tasks.  The objectives of this program included: planning strategies, programming strategies, and looking at how these strategies influence the results.  

From page 26: "by constructing physical agents together with the code to control them, students have a unique opportunity to tackle many central issues directly, including the interaction between hardware and software, space complexity in terms of the memory limitations of the robot's controller, and time complexity in terms of the speed of the robot's action decisions." ****by using robotics, and including this into our curriculum, we can combine code with a robot to be able to physically see the interaction between a piece of hardware and the software we are capable of creating.  It is a unique opportunity for students as young as Kindergarten to be able to actually see coding in effect, instead of high-school students learning about the theory of coding, but never actually being able to make the physical, and real-world connection to what they could do.**** 


One result that I found fascinating from the article was "the use of robotics stimulated students to explore their own knowledge in a critical way and to share it within the group," (32).  This finding right there is enough to support the idea that students should have access to robotics classes at a younger age than just university because think about the amazing critical thinking skills we could teach students at a much younger age if they were exposed to something like robotics when they were in elementary school!

Another result from the research can affirm, "the Robotics laboratory stimulated students with regard to problem finding, problem solving, and checking procedures" (33).  Again, this here shows us how valuable robotics classes, or even just robotics lessons can be in our classrooms.  Robotics is a great way to get our students the critical thinking skills they need, and to help them work on not just their problem solving skills, but also their problem finding abilities.

Robotics creates a bridge between educational aims and concrete experince which helps encourage the acquisition of new skills!!!  

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Sara,

      It is interesting to read your responses to this article. In some ways, it reminds me of your work in the "Inventing and Making" course. Especially here: One result that I found fascinating from the article was "the use of robotics stimulated students to explore their own knowledge in a critical way and to share it within the group," "

      • Tee Williams
        Tee Williams

        Hi Sara,

        You stated a great point about how students should have access to robotics classes at an early learning stage in their life. Not only will programming benefit future software engineers; these classes can promote computational thinking, which helps with engineers software problems. Solving problems will help young students tackle large problems by breaking them down into smaller problems and this process can take place because they started at such a young age. Kids learn better & faster when they are younger and they retain the information better than adults. I am all about increasing their critical and problem solving skills, which is important in computer science.

        Good Point Sara

        Tee

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