Wed. Oct 4th, 2023
    Japanese City to Use Robots to Boost Confidence of Absent Pupils

    Officials in Kumamoto, a city in Southwest Japan, have come up with an innovative solution to boost the confidence of absent pupils. They plan to install robots in some of its classrooms to help home-based students feel more included and less anxious.

    The robots, which are two meters high, will be equipped with microphones and a camera to facilitate two-way communication. This will allow students to learn from home while still actively participating in class discussions.

    In addition, these self-propelling robots have the ability to move around freely in the school environment and even participate in school events, making the experience more immersive for the remote learners.

    The introduction of these robots stems from a rising trend of truant schoolchildren in Japan, which has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an education ministry survey, truancy rates in the country reached record levels in 2021.

    The goal of using robots in the classroom is to lower the mental barriers for truant students by providing them with the opportunity to engage with their peers in a more interactive manner. By allowing students to view classes remotely and giving them the freedom to move around and communicate with others, these robots aim to create a more inclusive and supportive learning environment.

    The idea of using robots in schools is not exclusive to Japan. In the US, some schools have also implemented robots on their campuses. For instance, a school district in New Mexico is testing a 400-pound robot for campus security purposes, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. This robot is capable of confronting intruders, although it is not armed.

    However, the integration of AI technology in education has its own challenges and complexities. The use of AI-powered tools in schools has sparked debates, and the sector as a whole has faced difficulties in adapting to this rapidly advancing technology.

    Overall, the use of robots in classrooms could be a promising solution to address the needs of absent students and ensure their active participation in the learning process. It remains to be seen how effective this approach will be and how it will shape the future of education worldwide.

    – Mainichi Shimbun newspaper
    – The Asahi Shimbun outlet
    – The Wall Street Journal