Original News: http://www.scmp.com/tech/innovation/article/2121978/zuckerberg-backed-us-school-teaches-coding-robotics-kits-designed
Jesus Barreto, Online ESL teacher and Educator at Acadsoc
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Silicon Valley is at the epicenter of technological innovation and advancement. With over twenty-thousand schools all over the world interested in the use of robotics and technology as an educational aid, innovators are appearing left, right and center. One such developer is a company called Makeblok. This robotics kits company was founded by Jasen Wang who is also the CEO of the company[i]. One interesting fact is that this young man comes from humble beginnings – his father was a farmer.
The founder of Makeblock is Jasen Wang, a robotics lover, an engineer, and a hardcore maker from Anhui, China. One year after he graduated with a master degree in Aircraft Design, Jasen started the company to empower makers, educators, and future engineers, in the belief that making and creating in the physical world would enable more people to leverage innovation and technology to grow and compete in the future.[ii]
Global Robotics Education Development
The use of robotics systems is growing globally – this is evidenced by the Mark Zuckerberg-backed school in Silicon Valley called AltSchool[iii]. The beauty of such robotics kits that Makelblock supplies lies in the fact that the student has the power to code and assemble the robots in a way that best serves them and the purpose they wish the systems to have. AltSchool is one of many various schools in the Silicon Valley area to adopt these robotics kits because they allow freedom of development, unlike robots that are already made based on someone else’s view of what is needed.
Makeblock has its headquarters in Shenzhen China. By virtue of the company being located outside of the United States means that the kits are readily available to other countries like Japan, United Kingdom, and Australia just to name a few. The kits allow students to develop their skills in an unlimited environment and help them to focus more on the aspect of coding they wish to specialize in. This development of ready-made kits removes the need to code a specific software or robotic system that will enable you to create the program or system you want. You can dive right into it. This increases the productivity in tech schools such as AltSchool.
The Outlook of the Next Ten Years
The adoption of robotics into the classroom can have a considerable effect on the future of learning. With companies such as Acadsoc that are at the forefront of E-learning, the education standard may achieve an increase in standard. Students and teachers can program and tailor their lessons so that they achieve their goals in the most effective and yet efficient way possible.
The future of learning is like uncharted territory, there are many viable possibilities. An adoption of robotics may give rise to better content creation that is student-specific as much as possible. An increase in productivity may even ensure that the students never have the same experience twice – also, teachers can interpret their ideas and concepts in a remarkable way. A few ways that robotics can be developed to enhance education would be:
- Twenty-four hour working capacity.
Since robotics only needs energy to be productive, they can operate around the clock. This means that even during holidays students may have access to a high level of education provided by robotics on an E-learning platform such as Acadsoc.
- Versatility Development
Many robots that exist today still have a one-dimensional approach to them. This may cause many people to have different robots for different purposes, going against the whole idea of having robots in the first place. In the future, there exists an opportunity for robotics to develop versatility in becoming all-in-one machines that are either client-specific or neutral. These machines may be able to adapt to clients’ needs as they grow from primary school, where there is a lot of singing and playing, to middle and high-school, and to college, where education is more research-based. It is difficult to imagine a future where robots and A.I are independent of one another – A.I can be physically manifested through robotics in the future and may even give humans something they can touch and feel, let alone see or hear.
- Walking Encyclopedias
In the next ten years, exists a possibility that we can develop robots that can become knowledge companions based on who we are culturally, economically and intellectually. This means that robots have the potential to be personal libraries that minimize the effort of physically having to visit various libraries in search of new information. Having these robots may further improve our own self-awareness and understanding by making sure that we have information that touches on various subjects in real time.
Makeblock has shifted the narrative of robotics and has opened the door to many people who may have had to wait more years for even the most basic of robots. The availability of the kits makes it easier for anyone who is interested in robotics to develop their own products, hone their skills and become a stakeholder in the future of robotics and coding. On the educational part, Makeblock has changed the game where E-learning companies such as Acadsoc can learn and adapt certain aspects of their platforms to robotics. The future is unknown, but with robotics at the forefront, it is alive with possibilities.