Here’s an imaginative idea: Latitude, an international research consultancy, asked 348 children around the world, “What if robots were a part of your everyday life—at school and beyond?” The kids were to answer in the form of an illustrated short story. Now the results of the Robots @ School study are in, and they reveal what today’s young people think and feel about learning and technology.
Explaining the thinking behind the study, Latitude President Steve Mushkin says that education is “moving, at least in many children’s eyes, beyond acts of knowledge transmission toward acts of exploration and creation. As participants in this new model, robots and other intelligent technologies could help unleash the…capabilities of each child in ways that we’ve only begun to conceive.”
Indeed, the stories of the participating students suggest that kids don’t perceive the same human/technology divide that many adults do. To them, technology is, as the press release puts it, “a social companion that can entertain, motivate, and empower them…blurring the line between play and learning.” For example, a significant number of children imagined robots’ encouraging them to take creative risks in school, without fear of failure or ostracism.
The findings of Robots @ School are worthwhile reading for anyone interested in young people’s current attitudes toward learning, play, and technology, and in the increasingly blurry lines between the three.
To read the study summary, published in collaboration with LEGO® Learning Institute and Australia-based ideas consultancy Project Synthesis, click here. And to view some of the drawings done by students from Australia, France, Germany, South Africa, the U.K., and the U.S., click here.