A 2020 study published in MDPI’s Active Methodologies for the Promotion of Mathematical Learning special issue explored the symbiotic relationship between robotics and mathematics in children’s learning.
The study demonstrated that technology incorporating active learning strategies, such as robotic support, can help students develop a deeper understanding of math concepts, including geometry, measurement, and algebra while enhancing problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
The below figure from the study analysis reveals the results of the exam conducted at the high school grade at the end of the semester.
In all cases, it is clear that the result for the experimental groups is higher than the one for the traditional group.
Conclusively, the students scored higher with Robotic Support – NAO.
Why are we sharing this study with you?
Because we are truly fascinated by the potential of technology in simplifying the most complex subject ever: mathematics, this study shows that incorporating technology, like robotics, into math education can break the cycle of negative attitudes toward math and help students develop a deeper understanding of math concepts.
We believe that this and other similar studies hold great promise in inspiring educators to adopt innovative teaching methods that can make mathematics more engaging, enjoyable, and accessible to all students.
Methods and Material Required to Use Robotics in Mathematics Learning
From elementary school to graduate school, robots have become valuable educational resources. They play a crucial role in developing a creative mind in math and science.
To include robotics in mathematical learning, educators or schools need access to appropriate robotic hardware and software, as well as suitable mathematical learning materials. The two robots dominating the landscape of education in the current times are…
1. Play I Robots
Play-i robots, Bo and Yana, are designed to make programming concepts more accessible to children. Bo comprises four spheres that kids program to move around the floor and deliver small items while avoiding obstacles.
Yana, on the other hand, is a single sphere with sensors.
The robots connect wirelessly to mobile devices using Bluetooth 4.0, allowing kids to program them to react to objects in their environment. The open-ended and free-play interaction with the robots encourages children to think collaboratively.
The robots are used in learning activities such as hide-and-seek, racing, mazes, and programming scenarios. Play-i robots are expected to be available by the end of the year and are intended to be used in math learning classes as engaging educational tools.
2. RobotsLAB Box
The material and methods used may vary depending on the different grade levels and interests of students. Still, they could involve designing and implementing interactive math games or exercises that incorporate robotics.
This can also include using robots as a teaching tool to illustrate mathematical concepts or developing collaborative learning activities that involve both human students and robots.
The above picture is from a small-scale field experiment in a Swedish school, where sixth-grade students were asked to tutor third-grade students and robot tutees in a separate session. The tutoring task consisted of playing a mathematical game targeting conceptual reasoning. Popular Frameworks to Use Robotics in Mathematics Learning
Popular Frameworks to Include Robotics in Mathematics Classes
Here are some popular frameworks that can be used to incorporate robotics into mathematics learning:
- Project-based learning: This involves designing hands-on projects that allow students to apply mathematical concepts in real-world contexts using robotics. For example, students could design and program a robot to calculate the area of a room or to create a visual representation of geometric shapes.
- Inquiry-based learning: In this framework, students ask questions, make observations, and draw conclusions about mathematical concepts by interacting with robots. Teachers can use robots to create open-ended inquiry activities encouraging students to explore mathematical concepts through experimentation and discovery.
- Collaborative learning: Working in teams is emphasized in this approach, with robots serving as collaborative partners in the learning process. Students can work together to design and program robots to solve math problems or to create interactive math games that require teamwork and communication.
- Problem-based learning: Here, students are presented with real-world math problems that can be solved using robotics. Students use robots to collect data, analyze patterns, and develop solutions to complex math problems.
- Game-based learning: This involves using robotics to create interactive math games that make learning more engaging and fun. Students can play games that involve math concepts like geometry, measurement, and algebra while also learning programming and problem-solving skills.
Overall, these frameworks provide educators with various approaches for integrating robotics into math instruction, making learning more productive.
After reading about the potential of using robotics in mathematics learning, it’s clear that technology can be a powerful tool in breaking down barriers and fostering a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.
With creativity and innovation, educators can use technology to inspire a love of math in their students and provide them with the skills needed to succeed in the digital age.
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