The use of educational robot in the classroom has increased recently. Many teachers prefer to combine their teaching method with robot in order to stimulate students will to learn as well as to expose them to the world latest technology. Besides, robot is also believed to be an efficient media which offers more functions across various subjects; from science, language, until math.
In developing countries, using educational robot in the classroom is still not as popular as it is in the developed countries. In Indonesia, for example, there are still few schools adopt this technology for teaching learning process.
Most of the schools that already adopted robotics are high profile schools such as international schools or some reputable private schools, which are definitely not accessible for vast majority of the students. So, the application of robotics technology in class should be reinforced not only by the school institution, but also by the government, society, and other related entities.
Kinds of Educational Robot
Although there are various robots are promoted in the market; from the very simple one such as “microprocessor on wheel robots”, to “advanced humanoid robots”, only few of them are being used in educational field. Or at least, are strongly recommended by researchers to support teaching learning process. However, the field of subject that will be taught also considers what kind of robot is perfect to be used.
The first popular robot used in classroom is Small Robotics Toolkit. This is a simple educational robot that is usually used to teach computer and science-related subject. The small size of this robot is really useful for being used inside of class. The components are also easy to be manipulated so it can reinforce student’s creativity. Besides, by being easy to be manipulated, this kind of robot can be implemented in various different subjects as well.
The other one is humanoid robots. This is an educational robot with human-like shape. This kind of shape makes it easier for students to interact. The presence of physical features also makes students engage with the robot easier. For this reason, humanoid robot is used mostly in social-related subject. That’s why many countries such as Japan, South Korea, and United States, use it in teaching language, art, and social.
Benefits of Using Educational Robot
Educational robot offers a great benefit for teaching learning process. The biggest and most obvious one, especially for teacher, is that it will be easy to stimulate student’s will to learn. It’s because students are more interested to be engaged with new technology such as robot. Another reason is that robot can also be used to expose students to the early phase of engineering world, which is really important in 21st Century.
However, there are several other benefits of implementing robotics in class. These benefits should be considered in order to achieve educational purpose. And to ensure people to use educational robot in class, below we explain the benefits of using this technology.
Using Robotics Teach Students More Teamwork Skills
Teamwork skill is one benefit offered by educational robots. Many robotic tools are easily manipulated to be suited to certain kind of educational purpose. It can be teacher who does this modification to create model, or students who do this as their robotics project.
For this robotics project, it involves a great teamwork to finish the project. Students are not only trained to learn about basic engineering skill such as coding. But, they also need to learn about how to communicate in group and how to deliver ideas. These are very important skills to achieve. And when they master these skills, whether or not they will be engineer in the future, these will help students to adapt more and solving obstacles in very effective and efficient ways.
Robotics Can Be Used to Identify Student Passions
Having a robotics project in class makes teacher able to identify student’s passion. Through this project, students will be lead to do more exploration and research. They will learn many new things that can’t be learned from regular class such as coding, electrical, or even simple programming.
This stage can be used by teacher to do early identification on student’s skill. Some students may be interested in programming, while some other are prefer to do electrical engineering. Then the data could be used as reference when students decided to enter more specific field of study.
Applying Robotics in Class Reinforces Student Social Skill
Doing robotics projects means that students need to be engaged to each other. Besides, they need to build their teamwork skill as well. From this activity, they will learn on how to express their idea, especially when they are dealing with various kinds of people. Furthermore, communication skill also plays a big role here. So, through the implementation of educational robot in class, students will learn on how to reinforce their social life.
More than that, we should also count the possibility of community involvement in this educational robot implementation. Nowadays, robotics community has spread all over the places. This community likes to share their interest to other, especially to students. By this, students will be able to learn many new skills they don’t get in class. Moreover, some robotic competitions held by these communities will help students to gain their competitiveness and confidence as well.
What It Needs by Educational Robot to Penetrate International Market
Surely, product approval is the most important thing to obtain before marketing educational robot product. Without this approval, it’s nearly impossible for the products to be marketed. So, for this reason, manufacturers need to do research about what kinds of approval needed to enter specific kind of market. To do this, they can do it by themselves or by getting assistance of International Testing Lab or Approval Agencies.
In Indonesia, there are 2 kinds approval that covers educational robot. The first one is SNI (Safety). This approval will be mandatory if the robot is classified as toy. To decide this classification, government certification institution assistance will be required. The second one is SDPPI, or Radio Frequency certification. This certification is needed when the robot has Radio Function such as Bluetooth, WLAN, RFID, Low Power, or else.
Seeing the facts above, it’s clear that education robot brings more good to students. It brings the new face of modern education. And the best part, it boosts student’s will to learn instantly. With all these benefits, educational purposes will be easier to achieve. Therefore, there there should be no more doubt in implementing educational robot in class to support teaching learning process.