In general terms, educational robotics supports young people to apply their knowledge of physics, mathematics, logic, etc., while acquiring other skills such as teamwork, developing real projects and solving problems. Within this scope, two types of use of programming and robotics as support within the classroom can be distinguished: 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 build, 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 math).
On the other hand, as a social element, programming and robotics can be used as a game or gamification, in such a way that autonomous or semi-autonomous systems interact with humans or other physical agents or software in roles such as coach, partner, tangible device or registry 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 classrooms and individually. 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 to make robots in a simple way.
Another example would be Next 2.0, a curricular robotics project designed by the Edelvives company aimed at work in the classroom from the preschool-infant period to primary school, 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 skills, planning and development of the trial-error process, in a cooperative and problem-solving context.
Digital Education for the Youngest
In addition to all the facilities already mentioned, companies like Telefónica also support the insertion of robotics and programming in classrooms. In this sense, during the past 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 through programs such as Talentum Schools, which offer children and young people free training and exchange of knowledge 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 by 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. Additionally, robot-based activities provide an appropriate context for cooperative behaviour and teamwork.