2. Ignore boundaries
Robots are already being used for social-emotional learning and special education. With this in mind, it’s not far-fetched to imagine they could be employed to help with a wide range of subjects, and the potential can be whatever companies can imagine. Perhaps robots will one day soon “listen” to children read and help pinpoint reading challenges or deliver personalized music lessons for students that have advanced beyond others in their class.
3. Don’t forget mentors
Educators can get intimidated by robotics, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Smart solutions consider teachers and parents alongside students. Prospective teachers or guides must be able to access content and progress in a user-friendly way to provide the educational scaffolding needed for success.
The pandemic created an opening for more technology in the classroom. Teachers were forced to embrace all things digital, and there’s no going back. Likewise, parents became more involved in their children’s education during the pandemic as they facilitated virtual schooling or looked for supplemental online resources to combat learning loss. The users are not just students of all ages but also parents, teachers, tutors and any other educators that support students.
4. Think holistically
Education is changing faster than ever before. Pre-pandemic, educators were already engaged in rethinking not just what we teach but how we teach, and then 2020 brought a whole new perspective to both.
That means there is an opening for edtech companies with the right set of skills to help guide the future of education—a future that understands the growing role of robotics. To address the needs, businesses must combine expertise in content, platform engineering, and user experience design.
In other words, companies must consider not only how and when to deliver the right content at the right age or grade level, but also how to make the technology work seamlessly for every category of user, including students, educators, and parents, as they all progress toward the future. Accessibility and security are prerequisites.
Robots have gotten a bad rap. The mere mention of anything automated brings fears of either our replacement or ultimate demise (see any of the six “Terminator” films). But artificial intelligence and machine learning are, of course, entirely human creations with nearly unlimited power to make our lives better. They’ve already taken on tasks that are dangerous for people and have been developed to help our aging population stay in their homes longer. Rather than worrying about some dystopian future, it makes more sense practically to prepare for a world where people work with robots, in almost every industry and across so many facets of their lives, from school through retirement.
Anyone can learn to build something innovative, if given the right tools. Edtech companies have an important opportunity to advance a field that sits at the intersection of so many valuable STEM concepts and offers so much versatility. Robotics represents an engaging, hands-on way to prepare today’s students to become tomorrow’s creators and agile digital citizens.
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