The Pros and Cons of Introducing Robotics in Educational Institutes
In today’s highly competitive and digitalized world, Robotics has become an important topic of discussion. AI – Artificial Intelligence is the buzzword everywhere, as various functions that a human would usually do are now being automated. For example, there are apps that auto-generate content, prepare complex codes, and even smart tools that can design a complete website from scratch within minutes. How fascinating is that! If you are stuck while programming, just ask ChatGPT, ‘Buddy this code has a bug, how do I fix it?’ and in the blink of an eye you would have the answer. Just Chat it out with an AI and get most of your queries answered. Then there is the ever-evolving Metaverse. A universe that allows you to meet friends virtually, even if one person is in Dubai and the other peer resides in Paris. Great way to get people closer and socially connected on the net! In every industry field, be it medicine, IT, automobiles, real estate, and even education, robots are ruling and adding value to human lives. Through this Blog, let us look at some of the advantages vs. drawbacks of introducing Robotics programs in Schools.
Here are a few good reasons to incorporate Robotics in Schools
#1 Right Age to Introduce Robotics to Children
When children are in their prime years, learning is more effective. The brain develops rapidly at 7 years of age and therefore the student is eager to receive all kinds of information and retain it for a lifetime. Most IB Schools in the UAE have an agenda to support the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) structure, and therefore integrating the study of Robotics works wonders. The focus has now shifted from mugging conventional History & Geography chapters, to actually studying what is relevant in the job market and focusing on getting learners ready for great career opportunities.
#2 Hands-on Practical Learning
Just like Math requires us to understand the formula and apply it wherever appropriate, coding requires us to understand computer language and apply it as per suitability. This requires practice and hands-on activities that support the process. Robotify is an excellent platform where children learn to code virtual robots by working on their computers. There is no need for any external hardware, thereby reducing the cost of coding sessions. Robotify has been endorsed by educators in GCC regions for its user-friendliness and gamified modules that intrigue students to delve deeper and have fun while studying.
#3 Creative Thinking Skills
Students love to indulge in activities where they can explore their creativity. What could be more exhilarating than coding an app from scratch and using creativity to build a Robot that dances when the light turns blue? There are Robotic competitions that invite students to participate and showcase their inventiveness. Have you heard the news about that 15-year-old boy from Sharjah who constructed a humanoid robot that can speak in 7 languages at an Olympiad? Then there is another lad from the Middle East who got an opportunity to showcase his waste segregating Robot at Expo 2020. Such ingenuity is only possible if schools encourage youngsters to take up Robotics as a passion.
Some downfalls of teaching Robotics in Schools
#1 Too much exposure to screens
Children anyways spend a lot of time scrolling through their phones and are even addicted to social networking platforms. This robs them from exploring nature, interacting with friends while playing a sport, or building strong relationships with parents. Being a screen nerd may even affect the child’s emotional well-being, as he gradually finds it difficult to share his feelings because of being isolated for long hours in a room practicing how to crack a code. At the end of the day, a Robot can’t replace human touch or interaction
#2 Additional Burden of Studies
While it is lovely to aim that your child becomes an all-rounder by expecting him to be good academically and in extra-curricular domains, it may adversely affect the child’s morale. Parents who put pressure on their kids lead to the child developing withdrawal symptoms, becoming moody, and losing interest in studies. All work and no time to unwind makes Zack a dull boy!
#3 It is Expensive
Setting up a coding class includes investing in appropriate software, and hardware and hiring trained instructors who charge a hefty fee. Other than this, miscellaneous expenses on electricity costs and buying laptops for each student may also count as a hindrance. However, as we have already spoken about Robotify earlier in this Blog, it is a much cheaper alternative and is quite effective to get students started on their Robot coding journeys. In conclusion, though there are pros and cons to everything in life, we must have the ability to choose wisely. Compared to the many advantages of preparing students for the future, we guess the cons can be overlooked. However, remember to not pressurize the child, as interest in any new subject develops gradually. Let children be inspired and develop a genuine love for coding vs. being a burden on them.