Teachers' and Learners' Acceptance of the Use of Robotics in the Intermediate Phase

Teachers' and Learners' Acceptance of the Use of Robotics in the Intermediate Phase

Copyright: © 2024 |Pages: 35
DOI: 10.4018/979-8-3693-1066-3.ch011
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This study explored teachers' and learners' acceptance of the use of robotics based on their attitudes and experiences in two primary schools, which integrate robotics as a learning tool. Robotics is the current digital technology in the educational sector and offers new possibilities for modeling teaching and learning. The study used the technological acceptance model (TAM) as the theoretical framework and a qualitative approach. The researcher purposively sampled six learners and six teachers from the two identified schools in Pretoria, Gauteng. The study discovered that the integration of robotics in education is demanding, costly, and requires adequate resources. It necessitates additional time to design educational programs, requires more time for workshops and solving technical glitches, and puts more pressure on teachers. Teachers need support with the resolving of hardware and software issues as well as technical maintenance. Learners perceive robotics as a positive and exciting technological learning approach, which promotes teamwork and hands-on learning.
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Digital technologies have a crucial influence on the educational sector and significantly model educational principles at different phases (Samuels, 2016). Robotics is the outcome of development, inquisitiveness, capabilities and creativity of human thought on how to make tools and machineries be able to resolve challenges and perform precise activities freely (Hongshuai, 2021). The progression of transformation through technical and material conquests, has led to the construction of tools that are equipped with autonomy and skills. The evolution of robotics is entangled with the histories of technological developments, engineering and science. Technology used in computer science, manufacturing of cars, even advanced electronical gadgets, engineering and fluid mechanics could all be regarded as the key components of the initiative of robotics.

Robotics is the current digital technology in the educational sector and offers new possibilities for modelling teaching and learning. User acceptance is one of the key aspects, which should be taken into consideration when new technology is introduced, because this can influence the success of the implementation of robotics. The aspects of user acceptance are the attitudes and experiences related to using robotics. To facilitate a positive integration of robotics in education necessitates considering the attitudes of teachers and learners. Teachers’ and learners’ attitudes towards robotics will regulate the future acceptance of robotics for teaching and learning. Moreover, according to Jaipal-Jamani and Angeli (2017) a person’s technological acceptance is the main aspect in establishing the success or failure of technology practice.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Fourth Industrial Revolution: Refers to quick technological developments in science, technology, engineering and processes in the 21 st century due to connectivity and advanced computerization ( Gleason, 2018 ). The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in this study refers to rapid technological developments which impact on education and necessitates a paradigm shift.

Experience: To be acquainted with information about certain things through observations, hands-on activities and practicals ( Ruggiero & Mong, 2015 ). In this study, teachers’ and learners’ experience is based on knowledge of the training, lessons and teacher developmental workshops with robotics.

Acceptance: Refers to the ability to welcome or adopt something with a positive or negative attitude and it is based on previous experience ( Lai, 2017 ). In this study, acceptance refers to the ability of teachers and learners to adopt and integrate robotics in the Intermediate Phase.

21st Century Skills: Various skills that allow learners to be updated with the changes and transformations in response to global advancements and prepares them to be able to participate in the digital world, which involves creativity, communication and critical thinking ( Sullivan, 2012 ).

Self-Efficacy: Is based on a set of beliefs, which control how individuals feel, contemplate, boost their self-esteem and behave, which have an impact on their attitude towards something ( Jaipal-Jamani & Angeli, 2017 ). In this study, self-efficacy refers to teachers’ and learners’ beliefs towards the use of robotics.

Lego Mindstorm EV3: The Lego Mindstorm is a practical, cross-curricular STEM approach, which involves learners by introducing resources to plan, create and program their inventions while assisting them to cultivate important abilities such as creativeness, communication and critical thinking ( Chambers & Carbonaro, 2018 ).

Technology Integration: Is the utilization and incorporation of technological resources to advance teaching and learning ( Adegbenro et al., 2017 ). In this study, the integration of technology refers to teachers’ and learners’ utilization and incorporation of robotics for teaching and learning.

Attitudes: Refers to how an individual feels or thinks about something ( Hew & Brush, 2007 ). In this study, attitudes refer to how teachers and learners feel and think about the integration of robotics in the Intermediate Phase.

Robotics: An engineering, science and technology spectrum specializing in the construction and software design of robots, tools which can robotically follow instructions to perform activities.

Computational Thinking: Computational thinking is a dynamic process, which consists of different techniques of problem-solving approaches, which include articulation of challenges and their resolutions in a manner that a computer might also accomplish ( Chalmers, 2018 ).

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