Using Electronic Tangibles to Promote Learning

AAAI 2010 Spring Symposium

Child with robot


For over twenty years, robots, electronics, microcontrollers, and other physically-instantiated devices have been used as educational tools in both formal (in-school) and informal (out-of-school) settings. Particularly at the high school and undergraduate levels, these tools have been used to enhance computer science education and illustrate artificial intelligence concepts. In the last several years, a number of programs have been developed which use physically instantiated devices to promote learning in a wider variety of topics, including science, engineering, math, as well as storytelling, sculpture, and other art forms. Such programs, while not always directly teaching AI concepts, do promote technological literacy in participants and may motivate some to further study in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In order to further expand programs based on electronic, tangible components into these and other areas, it is important to demonstrate the impacts that these education programs have on participants, in both the short- and the long-term.

This workshop will provide a forum for researchers working with many different types of programs, including researchers in robotics, computer science, education, and formal and informal learning evaluation. This workshop will highlight (1) work featuring AI- and electronic tangibles used to promote learning in any topic (including approaches targeting arts and humanities in addition to STEM education); and (2) descriptions of the evaluation methodology and impacts of such programs.