Learning with robots

In a previous blog post I wrote about learning by making, and discussed the theory of constructionism, which holds that we learn through immersing ourselves in, and engaging with situations. Not to be confused with constructivism (the theory first proposed in its cognitive form by Jean Piaget, and in its social form by Levrenti Vygotskii). A lot of research into learning by making was conducted by Seymour Papert, with notable learning tools such as the LOGO programming language being developed. As far as Papert is concerned, learning in this manner is important because it is a departure from transmission models of education, enabling us to construct and reconstruct knowledge in our own unique ways. One of the first uses for LOGO was to enable children to program a floor robot, giving it instructions to move around the room and perform simple tasks. This remains a very effective learning device - children love the idea of robots, and enjoy being able to control them. When used in conjunction with other talks, floor robots such as Beebot can become very powerful in introducing children to new ideas and new skills, and can encourage them to experiment, learn from their mistakes and develop higher cognitive processes.

This video demonstrates how the theory can be applied to scaffold children's numeracy skills

Creative Commons License
Learning with robots by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported LicenseBased on a work at steve-wheeler.blogspot.com.


Stacy Smith said…
My name is Stacy Smith and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. My assignment is to comment on your latest blog and again in two weeks. Then I am to summarize the two posts and comments on my own blog. The video was so amazing. I would have loved to have had a Beebot when I was in school. Technology is a wonderful and fun way of teaching students. I have learned so much about technology through my EDM310 class. I can't imagine what else is out there to see and learn. This is my first time to see the Beebot. Is this something that you can purchase now? How much does a Beebot cost? I would be very interested since I have a 4 year old daughter. I know that she would have so much fun learning with the Beebot. I am also interested in reading more of your posts. It looks like I could learn a lot from your blog. I can use all the help I can get when it comes to learning about technology. I get excited and scared all at the same time. Thanks again for sharing the video. Stacy Smith
Steve Wheeler said…
Hi Stacy, and thanks for commenting. Bee bots can be purchased from Amazon for about £50 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bee-Bot-Programmable-Floor-Robot/dp/B001CVKYAW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351057475&sr=8-1
Stacy Smith said…
Thanks Steve. I found it. I was surprised by how reasonable the price was. Thanks for sharing. Stacy

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