Designing the future of education: From tutor robots to intelligent playthings

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticleProfessional

    Abstract

    Robots exhibiting social behaviors have shown promising effects on children’s education. Like many analogue and digital educational devices in the past, robotic technology brings concerns along with opportunities for innovation. Tutor robots in the classroom are not meant to replace teachers, but to complement existing curricula with personalized learning experiences and one-on-one tutoring. The educational paradigm of tutor robots have insofar limited to replicate models from formal education, but many are the technical, ethical and de- sign challenges to bring this paradigm forward. Moreover, the educational paradigm of tutor robots de-facto perpetuates the exclusion of playful learning by doing with peers and objects, which is arguably the most important aspect of children’s upbringing and, yet, the
    most overlooked in formal education. Increasingly, robotics applications to children’s education are shifting from tutor-like paradigm to an intelligent playthings paradigm: to promote active, open-ended and independent learning through play with peers. This article is an invitation to reflect on the role that robotic technology, especially tutor robots and intelligent playthings, could play for children’s learning and development. The complexity of designing for children’s learning highlights the necessity to start a trans-disciplinary discussion to shape the future of education and foster a positive societal impact of robots for children’s learning.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages5
    Number of pages1
    Volume44
    No.3
    Specialist publicationTijdschrift voor human factors
    PublisherHuman Factors NL
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019

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