One of the top priorities at RobotLAB is encouraging a revolution in STEM education. We bring the best of technology into the classroom, not just as a cool-tool, but as a real teaching aid that helps educators engage students and bring abstract concepts to life.
The NAO robot is a good example of this kind of teaching aid.
In our everlasting mission to optimize the way NAO is used in the classroom, we took it to a classroom at Oakland Unified School District and analyzed how students responded to this enhanced learning experience.
Robots for Better Learning
The main question we wanted to answer is what young students think about learning with robots and how robots can enhance the learning experience. After spending time on a lesson using NAO, 71 percent of the surveyed students agreed that robots improve the way they learn.
Interest in STEM Careers, Robotics, and Programming
Preparing students to join colleges and careers in the 21st century is an essential part of the role schools have in our communities. Increasing students’ interest in high-earning STEM subjects will ensure their future prosperity and stimulate long-term planning for their professional and academic lives. The impacts of robotic teaching aids on achieving these goals have been widely studied by researchers. And our results with Oakland Public School students share their enthusiasm:
After 2 hours with NAO, the students’ interest in STEM careers was nearly doubled. The base-line control group showed that students reported an interest in STEM careers at around 25 percent. When asked the same question after interacting with he NAO, the students interested in STEM careers increased to 42 percent.
Here's another important indicator: 68 percent of the students had a strong interest in learning more about robotics and programming.
Living the Experience Once Again
For every learning methodology, acceptance and engagement are priorities. That’s why we wanted to know if the students were genuinely interested in learning with robots again in the future.
A whopping 68 percent of the students wanted to repeat the experience with the robots soon. This shows the level of engagement that robots can bring to classrooms. Students actually want to go back and learn!
Robots and Storytelling
ELL students need extra motivation to improve their reading and writing, and robots can help with this heavy task as well. Making a robot stand-up and tell their story engages students and excites them more than just writing an essay on a piece of paper. We’ve learned that robots can lead to higher engagement in subjects outside of STEM. 66 percent of the students reported they enjoyed the storytelling activity with NAO robot.
NAO as a Powerful Medium for STEM Engagement
Engaging students in STEM fields is as important as teaching these subjects. Without engagement, students won’t retain the learning, and will lose their opportunity to be a part of the 21st century economy. We found that working with NAO boosts the engagement and interest level to 74 percent of the survey attendees.
Unique Positive Feedback
The cherry on the cake was students demonstrated their feelings by providing twice as much positive feedback than neutral or negative feedback about their experience. They really want to continue learning with the NAO robot. It was fun and attractive class for them.
Thank you Oakland Public Schools for participating in this important survey! Listening to what the kids want is an important part of teaching and helping students master important subjects.