About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3475-3483
Publication year: 2020
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.0984

Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain

NEW CRITICAL IMAGINARIES AND REFLECTIONS ON ROBOTS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: HOW TEACHERS’ PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE COULD AFFECT FUTURE EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY

S. Ekström, A. Fuentes

University West (SWEDEN)
Educational Robots (ER) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are rapidly evolving to meet the challenges that characterize school environments. The direction in which these emerging technologies will develop, and the effect they finally have on schools, will be partially shaped by how scholars and practitioners imagine future education. A recent study (blinded for review, 2019) about the views of teachers and educational researchers regarding the use of ER and AI for learning purposes highlighted this issue. Their study revealed that, beside an urgent need for teacher professional development, the participants were concerned about human interrelations, individualization, educational management and ethics. However, both groups showed a rudimentary understanding of the differences between these two technologies. More importantly, there seemed to be a gap in the way teachers and researchers in that study approached new technologies in education. Whereas for teachers the purpose of technology was to enhance current teaching processes, for researchers, technology had a deeper transformational potential.

Since then, a large national program aiming at increasing schoolteachers’ computational thinking and coding skills has been put into practice at several Swedish universities to support the introduction of computer programming in the K-12 curriculum. To account for these new developments, we wanted to investigate how these teacher professional development programs could reflect on upcoming school technologies. University teachers in charge of the programming courses could provide insightful information about how ER and AI can mold future school practices since they represent an entrance point for teachers into these technologies.

Delegates from several universities involved in the development of programming courses for K-12 teachers were therefore invited to give their vision of a future classroom. In order to compare with the previous study, seventeen university teachers were also asked to imagine a teaching situation in a school in which a) social robots and b) robots with artificial intelligence, were a reality. They were further requested to reflect upon which challenges and possibilities could emerge when using ER and AI in postdigital K-12 education. Which differences appear relevant compared to the participants in the previous study?

The analysis showed that the university teachers participating in our study coincide in pointing out potential gains in individualizing teaching and relieving teachers from routine tasks. Our informants adhered to the position of schoolteachers and did not predict any fundamental transformations in the current teaching practices. Unique for our participants was their ability to discern between ER and AI and that, while they were largely sceptic toward the cognitive benefits of a physical robot, they trusted the software to achieve similar results in a traditional computer. Given the premises in this investigation ─ future teachers that already knew how to program ─, the participants in our study did not suggest further need for professional development, which contrasts with the prevalent opinion in the previous study.

If university teachers believe that programming knowledge is enough to bridge the competence gap, and they do not expect any radical transformation in education, maybe ER and AI could be fully integrated in the teaching practice more easily than it was predicted earlier.
@InProceedings{EKSTROM2020NEW,
author = {Ekstr{\"{o}}m, S. and Fuentes, A.},
title = {NEW CRITICAL IMAGINARIES AND REFLECTIONS ON ROBOTS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: HOW TEACHERS’ PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE COULD AFFECT FUTURE EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY},
series = {14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2020 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-17939-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2020.0984},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2020.0984},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2020},
year = {2020},
pages = {3475-3483}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Ekström AU - A. Fuentes
TI - NEW CRITICAL IMAGINARIES AND REFLECTIONS ON ROBOTS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: HOW TEACHERS’ PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE COULD AFFECT FUTURE EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY
SN - 978-84-09-17939-8/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2020.0984
PY - 2020
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2020
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2020 Proceedings
SP - 3475
EP - 3483
ER -
S. Ekström, A. Fuentes (2020) NEW CRITICAL IMAGINARIES AND REFLECTIONS ON ROBOTS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: HOW TEACHERS’ PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE COULD AFFECT FUTURE EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, INTED2020 Proceedings, pp. 3475-3483.
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