- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Interaction Design for Children
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- 508 to 512
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Robotics may be an ideal way to teach cybersecurity concepts to young students in the elementary classroom. Research shows robots can be an engaging experience and benefit learning in ways useful in other areas of education. Programming robots provides an ideal context for compelling demonstrations of cybersecurity concepts. Unplugged robotics activities benefit from the engaging aspect of robots but have the added advantage of bypassing hardware and making some concepts more transparent. Señor Robot is a gamified unplugged robotics activity modeled after some activities used before but specifically designed for cybersecurity education in the context of mathematics. The design and implementation of Señor Robot in a third-grade classroom is discussed along with observations and results of student assessments. Strengths and weaknesses of Señor Robot are examined and guide a proposed revision of the game called Frogbotics. An expanded instruction set and applicability to English language arts are considered along with ways to use Frogbotics to teach specific topics in cybersecurity. A website is provided as a dissemination point for materials developed in the study.more » « less
Background: There are 4.9 million English Language Learners (ELLs) in the United States. Only 2% of educators are trained to support these vulnerable students. Social robots show promise for language acquisition and may provide valuable support for students, especially as we return to needing smaller classes due to COVID-19. While cultural responsiveness increases gains for ELLs, little is known about the design of culturally responsive child–robot interactions. Method: Therefore, using a participatory design approach, we conducted an exploratory study with 24 Spanish-speaking ELLs at a Pacific Northwest elementary school. As cultural informants, students participated in a 15-min, robot-led, small group story discussion followed by a post-interaction feedback session. We then conducted reflexive critiques with six ELL teachers who reviewed the group interactions to provide further interpretation on design feature possibilities and potential interactions with the robot. Results: Students found the social robot engaging, but many were hesitant to converse with the robot. During post-interaction dialogue students articulated the specific ways in which the social robot appearance and behavior could be modified to help them feel more comfortable. Teachers postulated that the social robot could be designed to engage students in peer-to-peer conversations. Teachers also recognized the ELLs verbosity when discussing their experiences with the robot and suggested such interactions could stimulate responsiveness from students. Conclusion: Cultural responsiveness is a key component to successful education in ELLs. However, integrating appropriate, cultural responsiveness into robot interactions may require participants as cultural informants to ensure the robot behaviors and interactions are situated in that educational community. Utilizing a participatory approach to engage ELLs in design decisions for social robots is a promising way to gather culturally responsive requirements to inform successful child–robot interactions.more » « less
This paper presents an implementation of Connected Spaces (CxS)—an ambient help seeking interface designed and developed for a project‐based computing classroom. We use actor network theory (ANT) to provide an underutilized posthumanist lens to understand the creation of collaborative connections in this Computational Action‐based implementation. Posthumanism offers an emerging and critical extension to sociocultural perspectives on understanding learning, by pushing us to decenter the human, and consider the active roles that human and non‐human entities play in learning environments by actively shaping each other. We analyse how students in this class adjusted their help‐seeking and collaborative habits following the introduction of CxS, a tool designed to foster (more inter‐group) collaboration. ANT proposes generalized symmetry—a principle of considering human, non‐human and more than human entities with equivalent and comparable agency, leading to describing phenomena as networks of actors in different evolving relationships with each other. Analysing collaborative interactions as fostered by CxS using an ANT approach supports design‐based research—an iterative design revision process highlighting understandings about design as well as learning—by providing a temporal and informative lens into the relationship between actors and tools within the environment. Our key findings include a framing of technologies in classrooms as bridging
agentic gapsbetween students and becoming actors engaging in different behaviours; learners enacting new agencies through technologies (for instance a more comfortable non‐intrusive help seeker), and the need for voicing and teachers to connect help networks in CxS equipped classrooms. Practitioner notes
What is already known about this topic
Collaborative learning is a valuable skill and practice; opportunities to mentor others are critical in empowering minoritized learners, especially in STEM and computing disciplines.
School norms solidify a power and expertise hierarchy between teachers and learners and fail to productively support learners in learning from each other.
Additionally, lack of awareness about peers' knowledge is a common hindrance in students knowing who to ask for help and how.
What this paper adds
An example of a designed interface called Connected Spaces with potential to foster more inter‐student collaboration, especially outside of mandated within‐group collaboration—in the form of cross‐group help seeking and help giving.
A design based research study using actor network theory highlighting the limitations of Connected Spaces in sparking notable behaviour change among students by itself but being retooled as a teacher support tool in enabling cross‐group collaborations.
Presenting conceptions of collaboration through technologies as bridging agentic gaps and acting with new agencies in performing help‐seeking related actions.
Provoking the idea of testing emerging technologies in classrooms along with sharing our analyses and reflections with the classroom as a key idea in computing education—surfacing the gap between designed intentions and the different kinds of extra social work needed in the on‐ground success of different technologies.
Implications for practice and/or policy
Designers and researchers should create and test more interfaces alongside teachers across different classrooms and contexts aimed at supporting different kinds of voluntary collaborative interactions.
Curricula, standards and school practices should further center providing students with opportunities to engage as mentors and build communities of learning across disciplines to empower minoritized students.
Researchers engaging in design based research should consider using more posthumanist lenses to examine educational technologies and how they affect change in learning environments.
Asynchronous online courses are popular because they offer benefits to both students and instructors. Students benefit from the convenience, flexibility, affordability, freedom of geography, and access to information. Instructors and institutions benefit by having a broad geographical reach, scalability, and cost-savings of no physical classroom. A challenge with asynchronous online courses is providing students with engaging, collaborative and interactive experiences. Here, we describe how an online poster symposium can be used as a unique educational experience and assessment tool in a large-enrollment (e.g., 500 students), asynchronous, natural science, general education (GE) course. The course, Introduction to Environmental Science (ENR2100), was delivered using distance education (DE) technology over a 15-week semester. In ENR2100 students learn a variety of topics including freshwater resources, surface water, aquifers, groundwater hydrology, ecohydrology, coastal and ocean circulation, drinking water, water purification, wastewater treatment, irrigation, urban and agricultural runoff, sediment and contaminant transport, water cycle, water policy, water pollution, and water quality. Here we present a is a long-term study that takes place from 2017 to 2022 (before and after COVID-19) and involved 5,625 students over 8 semesters. Scaffolding was used to break up the poster project into smaller, more manageable assignments, which students completed throughout the semester. Instructions, examples, how-to videos, book chapters and rubrics were used to accommodate Students’ different levels of knowledge. Poster assignments were designed to teach students how to find and critically evaluate sources of information, recognize the changing nature of scientific knowledge, methods, models and tools, understand the application of scientific data and technological developments, and evaluate the social and ethical implications of natural science discoveries. At the end of the semester students participated in an asynchronous online poster symposium. Each student delivered a 5-min poster presentation using an online learning management system and completed peer reviews of their classmates’ posters using a rubric. This poster project met the learning objectives of our natural science, general education course and taught students important written, visual and verbal communication skills. Students were surveyed to determine, which parts of the course were most effective for instruction and learning. Students ranked poster assignments first, followed closely by lectures videos. Approximately 87% of students were confident that they could produce a scientific poster in the future and 80% of students recommended virtual poster symposiums for online courses.more » « less
Social robots have recently been gaining attention in the education field. Given their capabilities, researchers can use social robots in various ways that support human-robot interactions. In this paper, we present an interactive cybersecurity education program to teach children about foundation cybersecurity concepts using a social robot. To create child-robot interactions in cybersecurity education, we devised three processes. First, in collaboration with practicing teachers we developed an interactive story to support student engagement and learning of cybersecurity concepts. Second, we prototyped animations for the story on the social robot. Third, we use a mixed-methods approach to pilot test our cybersecurity education program. Our research highlights the potential of social robot use in education, both for child-robot interaction and K-12 cybersecurity education.more » « less