Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are essential to success at university and in later life. However, the traditional classroom model has done a poor job of imparting these skills to students. The way children have learned in the classroom for generations has focused on lectures and worksheets. Past generations would depend on group sports, clubs and teenage jobs to impart these vital skills onto students.
However, new ideas suggest that robotics may hold the key to teaching problem-solving skills to students. Using robots to teach real-world skills may be a strange concept, but is it worth exploring? We think so and here’s why.
Robotics education is becoming increasingly commonplace in schools. This is largely due to the fact that students in K12 schools will graduate into a workforce that’s rife with technology, in an era where robots will become widely used in our everyday lives.
Even if these kids choose a career other than coding or robotics, learning robotics teaches them many important skills such as analytical thinking, programming, teamwork, collaborative thinking, innovation and more. It can be easily incorporated into STEAM education, which is becoming more popular in schools worldwide.
Slowly but surely, virtual reality and augmented reality are making their way into the mainstream. While both (known along with mixed reality as “reality technologies”) have been around for a couple of decades, they were until relatively recently reserved to a small group of aficionados. Technological advancements, interest from some of the biggest tech companies around and the realization that VR can help us out in many aspects of our day-day-lives now mean that more and more people are taking an interest. Today, VR in education is being used widely.
Including technology in your classroom is an important way to help students learn and grow. However, sometimes the budget constraints of your district or school may hinder progress. It’s important to know that there are ways to support technological growth at your school, without dipping into your savings. Here are a few creative ways to raise funds for classroom tech.
Imagine taking a class about the solar system, but instead of reading a textbook section about gravitational pull you’re soaring around the rings of Saturn. Or maybe you’re a surgical resident and rather than watch a video about how to do a face transplant you actually perform one.
Virtual reality (VR) presentations have proven to be more than just novel visual aids for education. They’re powerful learning tools. Research shows that retention rates rise when students or job trainees use virtual reality to immerse themselves in a lesson or scenario.
Transitioning into any sort of technology-based curriculum can trigger concern in parents for a number of reasons. Change is frightening, and watching your own children experience the world much differently than previous generations – through the lens of a smartphone camera and behind the screens of portable tablets – can be unnerving.
Engineering teaches critical thinking skills. These skills are in high demand not only in engineering, but also in other professions. The thinking skills of engineers include establishing replicable processes for presenting ideas, the ability to collect and analyze data, and the confidence in presenting solutions to problems.
Those skills aren’t just for engineers,. Everyone needs the critical thinking skills of engineers. These four high schools understand the implications for teaching engineering skills to all their students.
STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is more than just an acronym or a collection of letters. Rather, it is an instructional movement that embodies cross-curricular concepts from four fundamental disciplines, as well as a research-based strategy that addresses the future needs of a technology-driven work force and sustaining a global economy. The importance of STEM is further validated by its prominence in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
One of the most effective instructional approaches toward the implementation of STEM in grade-level courses is through project-based learning (PBL). In this approach, instruction occurs through student-centered investigations focused on a specific topic driven by a set of objectives, culminating in a broadly-defined product or technique. Projects foster an environment of discussion, creativity, problem-solving, inquiry, modeling, and testing, and are applicable to students in all grade levels and subjects, but particularly within the STEM arena.
For more than 100 years, we’ve relied on the factory model for providing education. Born of the industrial age, when efficient systems mattered most in producing a product, the factory model mimicked assembly-line work.
Schools built large classrooms and filled them with multiple rows of students. Teachers delivered one-size-fits-all instruction, and process was replicated in room after room, hall after hall, and school after school.
Naming the education system after industrialism was more of a metaphor than anything else, but one thing became apparent. Industrialism had served its purpose. Continuing to model an education system after an era that had passed was hurting instruction, not helping it. In education, we deal with people, not parts.
Philadelphia hospital debuts new robot designed to engage, educate young patients
JOHN KOPP/PHILLYVOICE Saaliha, a 7-year-old patient at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, greets NAO, the hospital's new interactive robot.