During 2011, an international research consultancy asked nearly 350 “kid innovators” – children from around the world between the ages of 8 and 12 – to imagine how their lives would be different if robots were always around. The Robots @ School study has shown that unlike most adults, kids are inclined to consider technology as essentially human.
“While children imagine robots that are virtually human in many regards, it’s their slight machine-ness that ultimately makes robots such effective partners for learning and creative exploration. Robots support and encourage, but don’t judge. They don’t run into scheduling conflicts, and they certainly don’t ostracize kids for wrong answers or unconventional thinking. Because they’re just mechanical enough, robots enable kids to grow and explore without regard for social stigmas that so often stifle learning and creativity.”
— Ian Schulte, director of technology and business development, Latitude
The study was designed and run by Latitude, and published in collaboration with LEGO® Learning Institute and Project Synthesis, an Australia-based ideas consultancy. The study collaborators hope that educators and technologists will use their findings to:
- Explore new modes of learning and possibilities for creativity
- Better address common hurdles children encounter in the learning process
- Inspire self-direction and creative risk-taking
- Enhance kids’ experiences with technology more broadly
Some more of the kids’ drawings can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/37527143@N03/sets/72157628799529293
© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.