Are robots the future of education?

AV1 No Isolation robot in a classroom

Written by Sophie Shearer, Creative Marketing and Media Officer, AbilityNet.

As much as you may have concerns about robots and the way we could be interacting with them in the future, it’s important to consider how AI and robotics can and do benefit the education of current and future generations.

Already robots are being used to help assist and teach children with autism and they’re being used to allow students with health conditions or impairments to attend school remotely.

The sector is on the grow 

It’s estimated that by 2019 the spend on robotics and related services will hit 135.4 billion US dollars. The types of technology we are talking about specifically for education will make up a very small fraction of this, infact the two fastest growing industries for robotics are healthcare and unsurprisingly process manufacturing. We feel it’s still fair to say technology will continue to play a pivotal role in all sectors, including education.

As accessibility specialists we’re passionate about technology and how it can help people with different health conditions and impairments to achieve their goals. For that reason we’re interested to see how robotics can help students with health conditions or impairments such as dementia, autism or mobility differences.

‘If you think you don’t know someone with a disability, think again’

Recent stats from shows that 1 in 4 students will experience mental health concerns during their education, stats from the British Dyslexia Association state that 10% of the population have dyslexia and there are 2 million people in the UK with visual impairments. ’72, 000 children are missing out on their childhood due to long-term illness. That means in every eight classroom there is an empty desk’ (source noisolation, 2017) This shows large numbers of people that could potentially have invaluable support from Artificial Intelligence.

So what about the future?

You might think we’re about to predict robots standing at the front of a classroom teaching or taking over the classroom altogether. The relationship between robotics and education might be a bit more complicated than that… An article from the BBC shows how students teaching a robot actually helps them to learn. Training the robots has also proven to be largely effective at training the students, and their patience is improved as they are learning by doing so. So, perhaps it could be time to embrace the future potential of Robots in Education.

This article was originally published here.


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