Posted by: crudbasher | September 7, 2012

How About Computers Replacing…Students?

As I learn about the possible future of education and learning, I try really hard to make sure I am not ruling anything out. Therefore I consider it a personal failure when I realized I had never though of this.

I believe that the most effective way to learn and demonstrate mastery of a subject is to teach it to someone else. I always assumed that in the future this would be more peer to peer learning but what if the student is alone? These researcher are using a robot and having the students teach the robot. How completely awesome.

Here is the story in the newscientist.com.

  • The best way to learn is to teach. Now a classroom robot that helps Japanese children learn English has put that old maxim to the test.
  • When the robot got a shape wrong, the child could teach the robot how to draw it correctly by guiding its hand. The robot then either “learned” the English word for that shape or continued to make mistakes.
  • Shizuko Matsuzoe and Fumihide Tanaka at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, set up an experiment to find out how different levels of competence in a robot teacher affected children’s success in learning English words for shapes.
  • The researchers operated the robot from a room next to the classroom so that it appeared weak and feeble, and the children were encouraged to take on the role of carers. The robot could then either act as an instructor, drawing the correct shape for the child, or make mistakes and act as if it didn’t know the answer.
  • Matsuzoe and Tanaka found that the children did best when the robot appeared to learn from them.

(cc) Wikimedia Commons

I am totally impressed and can see how to take this to the next level. Have you ever heard of Tamagotchi? This was a craze about a decade ago. Basically you had this little gadget you carried around. In it was a very simple display where a virtual little creature was shown. You were responsible for feeding with and playing with the creature. Over time the creature would evolve and grow. If you ignored the creature it would die.

So how about a smartphone app? There are already some apps like Tomagotchis. The next step would be to make the Tomagotchi curious. You could teach it things. This would work well with smart toys (see Learning From Smart Toys). These are little robot toys combine with a smartphone. They would be with your children at all times. Could they be curious and ask the children to teach them things?

Mind = Blown.

About these ads

Responses

  1. [...] As I learn about the possible future of education and learning, I try really hard to make sure I am not ruling anything out. Therefore I consider it a personal failure when I realized I had never though of this.  [...]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 937 other followers

%d bloggers like this: