Over the past five years, the education sector, including teachers and students alike, have shown a lot of excitement about the introduction of Robotics from the Kindergarten to grade 12 programme.
As more schools implement Robotics programmes and take part in competitions, students have the opportunity to exhibit their skills on a regional and sometimes national level. While we agree on the importance of having Robotics teams and dedicated Robotics programmes, it is even more important that educators begin to integrate learning about robotics into the regular day-to-day curriculum.
When teachers are asked to integrate technology into their lesson planning, it is often a daunting task. At first glance, it seems nearly impossible to implement Robotics into an English or History lesson. That being said, the actual building and/or programming part of Robotics is only one part of the big picture. A lesson on technical writing could easily accompany a programme completed in an after-school activity or technology-related class. Additionally, a history lesson on the evolution of Robotics can be delivered concurrent with students completing other technical tasks in a different class or programme.
Technology integration is not just about using technology in every class for every assignment. The technology should rarely, if ever, dictate what is being taught in the classroom. Robots used as a learning tool in an English or Social Studies setting should compliment and/or improve the traditional curriculum. Far gone are the days when learning about a particular topic is isolated to one class. Implementing Robotics outside the computer lab or an after-school activity is a great way to promote technology integration and spice up the subject matter.