By Chris Thompson
Last month, a company called Latitude, which analyzes how people will read, watch, listen, and learn in the future, organized a survey to figure out what the future of education might look like. They asked: what if robots taught children?
The survey was conducted with 348 children from Australia, Europe, South Africa, and the U.S., designed to help answer the question, “What if robots were part of your everyday life – at school and beyond?” The questions, which were created with partners LEGO Learning Institute, were framed in a series of “narrative prompts” that would tease out complex and interesting answers about how children could best interact with artificial learning guides. “This really works with kids, and without it, we wouldn’t have gotten the richness we did,” says Ian Schultze, Latitude’s Director of Technology and Business Development.
The children were asked to finish the following stories:
“When I got to school this morning, my teacher surprised me by giving me a robot to help me with my schoolwork and…”
“My learning group or classroom finished its work before class ended, so my teacher let us leave early with the class robot and…”
“I made friends with a robot today, so I invited it to come home with me after school and…”
Some of the results [PDF]:
- 64% of kids described robots as if they were “natural, human-like companions: as humanoid peers that could speak and communicate with ease, came ‘pre-loaded’ with smarts and useful knowledge, and were social naturals.”
- One-third of kids explicitly described their robots’ physical form as human-like, and 29% Continue reading