L. Denicolai, R. Grimaldi, S. Palmieri

University of Turin (ITALY)
This paper aims to present the results of an experimental activity of Media Education and Educational Robotics, based on the integration of the audiovisual language and coding. This case of study is part of a wide research about the role of the multimedia language and the innovation in Education, Pedagogy and in Anthropology of Media. Nowadays, we live in a hyper-connected and media-world: all our actions are, at the same time, in the virtual space and in the physical environment; we can do an act on the Web and give it a corresponding meaning and a true realization in reality. Thus, for example, when we organize a flash mob (or a social movement) with social networking sites, we want realize it really, in the physical world: in this case, our virtual intentionality and speech acts become real actions (with real effects). Everyday, we make many things with media and technologies; we not only use them to communicate but also to build concrete actions and media-products. Many of these productions could be part of a new collective knowledge and provide to increase a new media semiosphere (that is, also, a cognitive surplus). In this context, it is important that users (and, obviously, students) learn how to create and co-create new meanings with media language and technology.

Our research group works on two experimental directions: first, we consider Media Education as a method to teach the grammar and syntax of multimedia language, to help students not only read with media but also write (that is the can participate in the collective creation of materials for the cognitive surplus increasing). Obviously, we want to educate them to communicate and produce meanings. They should acquire technological skills and digital competences and, above all, the awareness of the power of media language. Besides, media languages are used to exceed some learning difficulties and to support the inclusion dynamic. In the second way, we use educational robotics to increase some basic notions about the visual and spatial skills (above all, in primary schools) and to help students to acquire some processes of reasoning, such as the logic of the problem solving and the creative problem solving. Besides, we use educational robotics to teach math and geometry procedures.

Starting by these aspects and by previous technological and media laboratories (with school and academic students), we experiment an innovative methodological approach to realize video of storytelling with robots. In this activity, students create some short films, starting by their fantasy and working on the storytelling process; robots (Bee-bot and Pro-bot) are the protagonists of these videos. Students must ideate the tale, build the scene, programme robots and realize the video, thinking how robots can move and interact with others and with space, according to the script. In this way, students must consider what are the skills to realize a video communication and, at the same time, what are the coding needs to move a robot and how it is possible to create a meaningful product with these technologies. In this paper, we describe this action, its educative aims and its results (obtained during the II edition of the Summer Junior University, 2015, Turin, Italy).