Leopoldina Fortunati, Giovanni Ferrin, Andrea Zuncheddu

Social robots seen as an educational tool and a theoretical query

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: educational robotics, social robots, robotization.

The present article aims at reflecting on a number of empirical studies we have carried out in the last five years with the purpose of retracing critically their research questions and results. Our reflection has pointed out two operational limits. The first consists in the fact that in these activities mainly build bots or use bots have been used, rarely social robots. The second limit is that poor effects have been achieved on changing the students’ cognitive schemas on robots. These two limits raised the question whether they were peculiar to our 165 research or rather typical of common school activities. The answer is that they can be probably be ascribed to many educational robotics activities. Moreover, we identified two other issues: a structural limit, due to the often inadequate teacher training; and a design limit, due to an integration between curriculum subjects (including STEM disciplines) and social disciplines, which is insufficient to raise awareness about new social processes triggered by robotics. We think that there should be greater integration between these different subjects to enhance cooperation amongst all the players involved in designing and conducting educational robotics activities. We believe that it is desirable a correction of the general planning for the purpose of making explicit the social and cultural implications of the spread of robotics in everyday life, incorporating into educational robotics the awareness of its social meaning.

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