4 Myths about Using Technology in the Classroom (And How We Can Dispel Them)

Advances in technology are changing education day by day, making teachers’ lives easier and students’ learning process much more engaging, interactive and fun. With all of these benefits, though, some confusion around Edtech implementation still exists. Is technology distracting for learning? Will teachers lose their jobs? Is it real learning anyway? - these are one of many questions usually brought up over the Edtech debate. To shed some light on this issue, let’s explore the most common myths about using educational technology, and how to use it to get the most benefits instead.

Myth #1: Educational technology will replace teachers in the long run

Let’s face it: no robot or a machine can replace a real educator with a genuine passion for teaching. It’s not the tools that make learning experience unforgettable, it’s the teacher’s dedication and enthusiasm that keep students engaged and will be remembered by them for years and years. True, machines can be entertaining and definitely memorable too, but human aspect is the cornerstone of successful learning.

Alternative perspective: rather than having to choose between teachers and machines, it’s better to think of technology as a great supplement and assistance to the teaching process. Technology is only a valuable tool, which, in hands of a great educator, can revolutionize a classroom and enhance the learning, but replacing the real teaching with it just doesn’t work.

Myth #2: We won’t need face-to-face teaching anymore

Firstly, the role of the instructor in face-to-face teaching is not exactly the same as in the online teaching. In a real classroom, teacher’s main goal is to transfer the actual knowledge, whereas digital classroom is more for facilitating discussion and helping to use the acquired knowledge. Besides, each classroom’s needs are different, so it’s just unreasonable to say that all teaching will be done via screens only. Think, for instance, of science classes: all children are always beyond excited about different experiments they can make together with their teachers, and this is where the real classroom undoubtedly wins over the digital one.  

Alternative perspective: face-to-face teaching is not disappearing anywhere because teachers can support children in a way that machines will never be able to. However, these two ways of teaching can work together too in a blended learning. Again, technology is just a tool, which can improve learning experience if there’s a need for it. 

Myth #3: Technology is the answer for everything

Conversely to the skeptical views, some praise technology as an ultimate panacea for all learning goals. Sure, technology is the future, but neither it will help to solve all the world’s problems, nor will it be useful in each and every classroom. 

Alternative perspective: before adding a technological element into a curriculum, teachers should think of a real value it provides. Sometimes it can be distracting or be just a waste of time and resources, so educational technology should ideally be used very wisely and strategically.

Myth #4: Learning with technology doesn’t bring any value

If poorly planned and stuffed with the meaningless use of technology, learning can indeed yield no results and be extremely ineffective. That said, technology is not the one to blame - it’s rather a lack of teacher’s competence and experience with it. 

Alternative perspective: it’s very important to remember that technology can create limitless opportunities to learn and create, but in order to get the most out of these opportunities, teachers need to create an engaging environment, which inspires to discover and share. It’s not enough to recognize the amazing potential of using technology in the classroom: teachers need to leverage their own skills in it and foster the students’ interest in tech appropriately.

 

Technology alone won’t transform education overnight, but it can (and should) be your secret sauce to enriching the learning experience of students. The most important thing to remember: it’s just a tool, which, combined with a high level of an educator’s expertise and passion, can create excitement about learning and many opportunities for it. 

5 Spring Activities for You and Your Kid

5 Spring Activities for You and Your Kid

Spring is just around the corner and with every warmer day our excitement grows! It’s time to shake off your kids’ winter chills and rejuvenate their daily lives. That means it’s time for some spring cleaning, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Instead, rejuvenate your house and toys with Robo Wunderkind and these 5 fun activities for you and your child - it’s a spring awakening!

Here is What Happens When You Use Robots in Your STEM Curriculum

In many primary schools, students spend their days moving from one subject to the next until the day is done. Seeking a more interdisciplinary way of teaching, STEM curriculums emphasize real-world solutions by teaching a combination of four disciplines - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Robotics will be a stepping-stone for building effective and engaging 21st century STEM lessons. But how can robots complement your STEM curriculum? To help answer this question, we have come up with 3 reasons why you should consider including robots when teaching STEM.

Around the World in 30 Days - A Robot’s Journey

The team at Robo Wunderkind spent more days on the road than at home this January. Missing our friends and family while tweaking our backs on Airbnb couches, we traveled far and wide to the most famous tech and education trade shows with one main goal: preparing for our robot launch.

We’ve negotiated deals under the shadow of Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, been forced to google translate cockney accents in London, and were reconnected with lost childhood toys in Nurnberg. Come relive our experiences and learn with us in this recap blog post.

 

"I am absolutely mind-blown. I didn't think that this could be so much fun, not only for 5-year-olds but also for me." (Enoch P. - Visitor from Hong Kong)
"Building something with Lego Mindstorms was more of a hassle than something fun. But my 7-year-old would definitely enjoy easily programming his own robot with Robo Wunderkind"  (Magdalena L. - distributor Poland and parent)
"This is the best robot for small kids I have seen so far" (Valentin M. - distributor)
“Robo Wunderkind can get my primary school students excited about robotics and coding. It’s actually the first robotics kit that’s perfect for my STEM courses and Marker Space programs” (Melissa M. - primary school teacher)

 

Trip 1, Las Vegas

 

The Robo Team enjoyed a visit from Arkley VC, Say “Cheese!”

The Robo Team enjoyed a visit from Arkley VC, Say “Cheese!”

The Consumer Electronic Show, or CES for short, is one of the largest trade shows focused on technology in the world and it’s held in no other place than the city of sins, Las Vegas. This year alone, around 177.000 visitors showed up from roughly 81% of the world’s countries, so it’s a great way to raise awareness and meet distributors.

 

Before any doubt creeps into your mind, let us be clear, going to CES is not a big party. It can be and some people treat it that way, but for the rest, it is 5 whole days of working on your feet until you can go home and drop into bed. Or Airbnb couch.

 

Trip 2, London

The Press loved us at the BETT show in London.

The Press loved us at the BETT show in London.

When we received a call from London asking about whether or not we were coming to the British Education and Training Technology (BETT) expo, how could we say no? With a short stop back home to gather new supplies, we shipped off with our Robot in tow. BETT was an incredible experience and the amount of love and support we received from the educators and school administrators there was astounding.

 

It’s the world’s leading education technology event and is so for good reason! Around 35.000 education experts visit the show and exchange knowledge on the changing educational environment. They talk about what is working well in the classroom, what technology can be used in different situations, and what the future of education looks like.

 

This is not Sir Ken Robinson, but we loved Wolfgang Slany's (Catrobat) visit anyway.

This is not Sir Ken Robinson, but we loved Wolfgang Slany's (Catrobat) visit anyway.

 

The halls are packed with some of the leading experts in education, each wanting a piece of our robotics kits. The special highlight of the event was the keynote presentation by Sir Ken Robinson (see “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” Answer: Not if they have our robots).

 

Trip 3, Nuremberg

Learning is a lifelong adventure, not a destination, but we still recommend taking a bus whenever possible.

Learning is a lifelong adventure, not a destination, but we still recommend taking a bus whenever possible.

 

Our last journey brought us the closest to home, to the Spielwarenmesse in Nürnberg. Imagine the world’s biggest toy store filled with the newest and trendiest toys all lying out to be played with, and you’ve arrived at the expo. Then imagine us, stuck at our stand, jealously glaring out at all the adults reliving their childhood going stand to stand to play with the coolest new toys.

Time travel isn’t possible yet, but our robot will make you smile like you did on your first Christmas.

Time travel isn’t possible yet, but our robot will make you smile like you did on your first Christmas.

 

Ok, we weren’t jealous at all because we were the luckiest of them all! We had countless retailers and toy experts come to us, all wanting to play with our fantastic robotics sets. Nothing takes the serious side of business away like playing together. Of course, contacts were made and business cards were exchanged, but most important to us is how our robots made people feel - and we saw a lot of smiling faces leave, wishing they had a robot to take with them.   

 

Meet a toy expert, a professional scientist developing new ways to have fun with our robot.

Meet a toy expert, a professional scientist developing new ways to have fun with our robot.

 

Finally, back at home in Vienna, we have unpacked our bags and settled back into the office. The work hasn’t stopped, though, as there is still much to prepare before shipping this year.

One of the proposed shipping methods, but we picked a less crowded option.

One of the proposed shipping methods, but we picked a less crowded option.

 

Check out our video:

 

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Some friends we made in Nuremberg

Some friends we made in Nuremberg

With Love,

Robo Wunderkind