The Use of Robotics and Simulators in the Education Environment

Advances in technology continue to push the envelope in healthcare, travel, communication and education. The use of robotic and simulation technologies have proven themselves to be worthy components of available educational resources. These technologies use in the education environment have shown their value in everyday learning and in the specialized education of students with disabilities.

Robotics and Simulators in Education

The use of robotics has allowed complicated medical procedures to be simplified, the work of dangerous construction projects to be safer and the discovery of our universe to be possible. When applied to education, robotics and simulators can change the way students learn and ultimately create a more knowledgeable and well-adjusted student.

Elementary and High School Education

  • Robotics - Robots can be used to bring students into the classroom that otherwise might not be able to attend. In New York, a second grader with severe, life-threatening allergies was unable to attend school due to his condition. A four-foot-tall robot provided a 'real school' experience for the boy, 'attending' school and bringing the boy with him via an internal video conferencing system. Robots such as the one mentioned are able to 'bring school' to students who cannot be present physically.
  • Simulators - High school sees the strongest example of simulators within drivers' education courses. Simulators provide a true-to-life experience while removing any real dangers or risk from scenarios. In drivers' education, students can experience the feeling of being behind the wheel without ever leaving the safety of the classroom. Simulators offer a chance for 'what if' scenarios, which can better prepare student drivers for real-life hazards and obstacles on the roadway.

Higher Education

  • Robotics - Many careers require specialized knowledge in delicate practices, specifically in the realm of healthcare. When receiving a medical education, many students find benefits in the use of robotics. When learning to perform complicated medical procedures, a human subject isn't feasible, so educators are employing the use of robots as stand-ins. Robots can be created and programmed to give off all indications of human life, including breath and heartbeat. Their use can also be seen in such procedures as injections, surgeries and even delivering children.
  • Simulators - Simulation technology is utilized in a variety of college degree focuses, offering 360 degree real-life scenarios and 3D projections of real experiences. In addition to providing medical students with the means for thorough exploration of the human body, simulators also provide exceptional methods of crisis and disaster training for emergency response and law enforcement trainees. These types of all-encompassing simulators offer a choice and response technology, requiring officers to make split-second decisions and immediately see the ramifications of their actions. These types of scenarios can include violent altercations or behind-the-wheel high-speed chases.

Special Education

  • Robotics - Students with special requirements are reaching new levels of learning through the use of robotics in the classroom. With these technologies children with autism are learning communication and social skills and students with developmental issues and attention disorders are learning focus. Individuals with severe physical disabilities are also offered a constant companion and health monitoring system - all through the use of robotics. Robots can be programmed to suit each individual child's need, offering special education in a much simpler,  accessible format.
  • Simulators - Simulators are able to offer students with special needs an introduction to real-world scenarios in a non-threatening environment.  Everyday lessons can be taught at a comfortable pace, including subjects ranging from basic self-care to stay-safe techniques in emergency situations. Simulators have also provided a way for special education educators to see the world from their students' perspectives, including hearing-impaired or blind simulations.

Assistive technology is growing, and the abilities it provides to special education students are limitless. Simulation and robotics technologies offer a range of possibilities within education, with a helpful solution for every student's learning needs. As the technological world unveils new innovations daily, the educational world will continue to benefit from the opportunities offered with these groundbreaking tools.

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