The Didactical Potential of Robotics for Education with Digital Media

The Didactical Potential of Robotics for Education with Digital Media

Andreas Wiesner-Steiner (University of Bremen, Germany), Heidi Schelhowe (University of Bremen, Germany) and Heike Wiesner (University of Bremen, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/jicte.2007010104
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Abstract

The project “Roberta – girls conquer robotics” was launched by the Fraunhofer Institute (AIS) with the aim to help promote girls’ interest in sciences, mathematics and technology. As a summary of this research program, this article presents substantial results from the scientific evaluation of Roberta and suggests a new pedagogical approach towards the use of robotics in education. We discuss how didactics and technology (LegoMindstorms) interact in Roberta courses and how the materiality of robotics itself plays an important role here; that is, it already comes along as gendered material. Due to that, we draw conclusions towards general educational concepts for digital media. If carefully used as a didactical actor, robotics not only suits boys’ and girls’ interest in technological messiness but enables them for a technological-mediated life instead of just feeling overwhelmed. Robotics, therefore, can function as an appropriate medium for general education in the more comprehensive sense of developing personality and agency.

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