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Grade-School Students Teach a Robot to Help Themselves Learn Geometry

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The Quinn robot smiles to indicate approval.

To better engage students with their environment through educational technologies, researchers have begun exploring a variety of solutions that provide more embodied and tangible interactions.

Credit: Pete Zrioka

A New York University researcher and colleagues from Arizona State University and Carleton University say they have developed educational technology that could better engage students.

The team's tangible learning environment utilizes teachable agent framing coupled with a physical robotic agent.

Robo-Tangible Activities for Geometry (rTAG) projects a Cartesian plane onto a white floor mat, upon which a LEGO robot named Quinn navigates. An iPod Touch mounted on top of the LEGO components displays Quinn's face and outputs its voice, through which it can give affective responses. The iPod also provides the entry point for interacting with Quinn. The final component is the mobile interface, which is another iPod Touch held by a student when interacting with the system. Students issue a command to Quinn by first touching the mounted iPod, which triggers a popup on the mobile interface, where they can choose from a variety of actions, including move units, turns, and plot points.

A paper on the rTAG tangible learning environment was presented at the ACM CHI 2016 conference in Santa Barbara, CA, in May.

From New York University
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Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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