The power of AI in education: Enhancing instructional coaching for student success

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Last fall, ChatGPT, an AI-powered language model, became the subject of widespread discussion, from lighthearted memes about robots taking over to genuine confusion about the capabilities and implications of AI. While we have come to understand this technology better, there still remains hesitancy and caution surrounding AI and its integration into education. A prime example was the New York City School System, which had prohibited students and teachers from accessing ChatGPT’s website on school computers.

This hesitation is understandable, as any new technology brings about both excitement and trepidation. However, it is essential for educators and instructional coaches to embrace emerging technologies like AI, as doing otherwise would mean doing our students a disservice. By integrating AI into the classroom, we have the opportunity to enhance teaching practices, coaching conversations, and ultimately support student success in innovative and meaningful ways.…Read More

RobotLAB Inks Landmark Robotics Partnership with American Samoa Department of Education

DALLAS, TX – RobotLAB, an award-winning robotics integrator that delivers impactful technological innovations and solutions for educators and business owners across the globe, has inked a momentous partnership with the American Samoa Department of Education. RobotLAB will provide more than 150 technology carts to the nation’s public schools, each including humanoid robots, virtual reality headsets, laptops, tablets and lesson plans that will expose students to age-appropriate technology and encourage a mastery of computer science, artificial intelligence, automation, STEM and robotics.

“We’re honored to bring enhanced STEM education and robotics to American Samoa, as we’ve seen the positive impact these technologies have had on students over the last 15-plus years,” said RobotLAB Founder and CEO, Elad Inbar. “After working with the American Samoa Department of Education to identify the best programs and packages for their needs, we’re excited to introduce students in American Samoa to best-in-class education technologies that will challenge and encourage them to master the interconnected world of robotics and automation through hands-on learning.”

Each STEM cart has been tailored by RobotLAB’s skilled roboticists and education specialists for the various grade levels, ensuring teachers have the appropriate products and lesson plans for their students. The carts can accommodate classrooms of up to 24 students, each including three age-specific product bundles comprised of humanoid robots, virtual reality headsets and more. Mindful of inclusivity and accessibility, RobotLAB is also providing robots, VR equipment, projected reality stations and lesson plans designed for students with a variety of learning needs.…Read More

Why AI’s flaws won’t slow its adoption

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As the ‘23-’24 school year comes into focus, there is now little doubt we are on the brink of a major technological revolution that will affect our schools, our jobs, and our lives in ways we can’t yet fathom. By now, you’ve likely seen countless variations of “The Robots are Coming” headlines from clever copywriters hunting for clicks. But when is this tidal wave of innovation going to hit, and how can we be ready when it does?

There are legitimate concerns about early-stage AI, including:…Read More

Creating student engagement through the power of play

Recently, my colleagues and I attended a summer camp where we introduced students to some fantastic STEM activities. Kids learned how to create their own lava lamps out of everyday kitchen materials. They programed Sphero robots and used them to make cooperative artwork. We also taught them how to make circuits out of batteries and wire, as well as exploding paint bags. The events were endless, and the students had a great time, because more than anything science should be fun!

As I look back on the events of camp, I’m reminded of how important this type of play is for young minds. Play is an essential part of learning and growth. In nature, animal cubs play to sharpen their hunting skills or learn valuable foraging techniques. Among humans, play teaches valuable social skills like communication and cooperation. It also fosters a learning mindset, teaching students to absorb knowledge through exercise and practice.

While unstructured play has its place in education, most teachers need something with a little more organization if we’re to help our students grow. We can accomplish this by dividing play into two distinct categories: Playing Downhill and Playing Uphill.…Read More

How age-appropriate tech inspires preschoolers (and their teachers)

At Brooklyn Preschool of Science, I’ve been using robots to make computational learning fun in my 4-year-old rooms for years.

When I decided to add computational learning to the 3-year-old group, I didn’t want teachers to always be the ones handling the robots. I wanted the kids to have the ability to control the robots on their own, even though 3-year-olds don’t have the same fine motor capabilities that my older students do.

Here’s how I use robots and other kid-friendly technology to give all my students an outlet for free exploration.…Read More

We need support and empathy to prevent teacher burnout

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the world. Its impact on the educational profession, though, is unique. Every educator has an impact on children–the future adults. In a time of fear and uncertainty, our students turn to us; we are the moms, dads, and guardians away from home. We spend several hours a day with our students. Parents entrust us with the most precious things in their world–their children. This is a humbling fact.

Teachers are not robots–they, too, are human beings with feelings, fears, insecurities and lives. A teacher’s day is beyond classroom hours, and at the same time, teachers have to take care of themselves. When teachers don’t do this, they experience teacher burnout.

A nationally representative survey of teachers by RAND Education and Labor in late January and early February 2021 found that educators were feeling depressed and burned out from their jobs at higher rates than the general population. In the survey, one in four teachers–particularly Black teachers–reported that they were considering leaving their jobs at the end of the school year. Only one in six said the same before the pandemic. So, what can be done?…Read More

4 ways to support the growing role robotics will have in society

In the past decade, robotics have evolved from a sci-fi fantasy set in some distant future to an industry capable of producing present-tense toys, companions, workers and self-driving cars. And this is just the beginning. The industry forecast calls for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 26 percent, which would mean a value of $210 billion by 2025.

The inventors (and users) of tomorrow are children sitting in preK-12 classrooms right now, who by and large are not learning about robotics. This represents a huge opportunity for education technology companies. Robots promise to become a bigger part of our daily lives as the industry shifts from being primarily industrial-driven to increasingly consumer-oriented. As they expand beyond the warehouse to wherever we need them, robots will become more diverse, intuitive and useful.

The speed of change has been impressive in recent years and will only accelerate as machine learning and neural networks endow robots with human-like senses, allowing them to “see” and even “taste” like we do.  The skills children learn through robotics could certainly lead to career opportunities later, but that’s not the only reason to embrace the ABCs of androids. In addition to a range of science and math skills, students can practice problem-solving and creativity as well. We’ve arrived at a tipping point in robotics, and for education, that represents lifelong learning opportunities.…Read More

5 ways robots will bring your classroom into the 21st century

When you hear the word ‘robot,’ what comes to mind?

Off the bat, it’s probably either a hyper-realistic robot that can’t be distinguished from a human that sets out to take over the world, or ‘Disneyfied’ robots such as C-3PO and WALL-E that have been created for our entertainment. Today, however, their potential impact is more far-reaching. Robots are being built to improve daily tasks and improve our lives. Think about the Roomba vacuum, robotic arms for complicated surgeries, or Tesla’s self-driving car–all are setting a powerful precedent for new ways of living and being.

Education is another sector where robots are proving to be of valuable assistance. Conventional classrooms can become stagnant, often to the detriment of students’ learning experiences. That’s why telepresence robots can offer promising solutions for educators globally to empower engaged learning experiences and catalyze effective learning techniques inside and outside the classroom.…Read More

Using robots to help preschoolers love STEAM

In the spring and summer of 2020, Brooklyn Preschool of Science closed down for six months due to COVID-19. During those same six months, almost 300,000 people left New York, so there are certainly fewer families in our zip code than there were in March.

Even so, our independent preschools are back to serving 300 families at three locations, offering in-person classes for students ages 2 to 5. Parents are trusting us with their children not just because of the safety precautions we’re taking, but because of our pedagogical approach, which begins with a spirit of inquiry and ends with students who have a lifelong love of science.

An inquiry-based, hands-on approach…Read More

5 reasons to set up a coding program in your district

At Everett Public Schools, we’ve always had a robotics team at the elementary and secondary levels. Last year we were up to 50 robotics teams within the FIRST organization. During the shutdown, we went into a panic over how students wouldn’t be able to physically “touch” and work on the robots on campus anymore.

I didn’t want to lose our robotics stipend, nor did we want students to miss out on that learning during the shutdown. For help, we started searching for an online platform that would augment our in-person robotics curriculum.

We found what we were looking for in CoderZ and soon after, we shifted our entire robotics curriculum over to that platform. We weren’t sure how many students would want to log in from home voluntarily, but our participation levels have actually grown since the pandemic shut down in-person learning in March 2020.…Read More