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As people increasingly move beyond national borders, an increasing number of children are attending schools where there are language and cultural differences. They need to be separated from familiar teachers and friends, as well as curricula, and adapt themselves to the new environment. Online learning service may solve the problem when you only need to study one or two specific subjects. However, a school is a place to nurture the sociality of students, and not just to teach subjects. How can a teacher accept students with diverse needs and background, pay attention to each student in class, and provide education of high quality at the same time?
The robot provides the new school with digital data that includes a student’s previous school records and any communication barriers. The new school can provide curriculum customized to the needs of individual students based on data that helps students to fit into a new environment. For example, knowing that a student learned the surface patterns of the moon at the previous school, offering a program with the same content will encourage the new student to easily participate in class discussions. Taking over educational information enables dedicated support to be offered for a new student in the period immediately after entering the new school, a period when the teacher, parents, and the student become very nervous.
In class, several robots serve as assistants of the teacher. If you look carefully, the assistant robots have scribbles made on their body by children. The students love the assistant robots so much that they scribble on the body of robots. The robots are not substitutes for the teacher, but a new presence that connects the teacher and students, and energizes the class.
Before the class starts, the teacher informs the assistant robots of the lesson plan. One assistant robot is allocated to each group in the class, thus enabling educational attention to be provided for the entire class. The assistant robots intervene in students’ conversations based on the previous school records of a new student and any communication barriers of other students. The assistant robots observe the actual conversations of children, and offer support to a new student that may be nervous about the opportunity to make a comment.
The teacher reviews the data recorded by the assistant robots after class. Unlike recording using a camera, the robots actually interact with the students and elicit responses from them. The recorded data enables the teacher to observe students in more detail than by observing them without such a record. Although it is the teacher who makes lesson plans as mentioned before, assistant robots support the teacher in areas where the teacher alone cannot pay sufficient attention to, and help the teacher offer better and more intimate education than before.