Australia’s first robot teacher leading the way for next generation - Education Matters Magazine
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Australia’s first robot teacher leading the way for next generation

Robotics-in-the-modern-classroom

Firbank Junior Grammar School students have welcomed a new teacher to its school, who will teach them about the importance of robotics and jump forward into the future.

According to an Oxford Economics report, the Australian region is most likely to be changed by robotics in the coming five to ten years. 

Head of Campus, Brad Nelson says that this prediction highlights the next generations need for understanding the fundamentals of robotics and providing them with clear STEM career pathways.

Nelson has highlighted that robotics not only teaches students the fundamentals of coding, computing, engineering and project planning it also teaches problem solving, critical thinking, mathematics and allows them to use their curiosity to literally build the future with their own hands.

“This is hands on learning with physical applications in a digital world.  This is the opposite of most online based models that takes the real world and makes it digital which is possibly difficult to grasp for younger children.  This takes technology beyond the screen and into the future, all they need is the curiosity to think of an application and our new robotics expert will be there for inspiration,” he said.

The new teacher, Professor Tubby (the robot) has an honorary PHD in robotics because, well, they are a robot.  

Tubby is an android which is a humanoid robot which mimic human form and behaviour (Kanda et al., 2009) via a HTI (Human Thought Interface).

The school says that it understands that in the future, like most industries, robots in the education sector will have significant implications for teachers’ roles and their professional identity as human teachers move from being often solitary sources of learning to becoming learning and teaching managers who need to provide learning opportunities creatively utilising technology as it develops in society. 

The school is a leader in science literacy where students use robotics and 3D printing to design and build devices.  

Nelson added that any child that is not learning STE(A)M and science literacy from a young age is potentially under prepared for the future world and the job market. 

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