CONTEMPORARY EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY
e-ISSN: 1309-517X
Increasing Hispanic Students’ Awareness and Use of Floor-robots through Structured Activities

Jane Elizabeth Casey 1 * , Lisa K. Pennington 2, Dallas Lopez 3

CONTEMP EDUC TECHNOL, Volume 13, Issue 1, Article No: ep281

https://doi.org/10.30935/cedtech/8706

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Abstract

When educators provide students with opportunities to interact with educational technology such as floor-robots, it may: (a) increase students’ awareness of new educational tools, and (b) enhance students’ use and engagement with new technologies. This case study provided upper-elementary, Hispanic students with opportunities to engage in structured and unstructured activities with floor-robots, with direct support from researchers and the cooperating teacher. These educational robots were introduced to student-participants on multiple occasions during regular instructional class time in a Title I school on the U.S.-Mexico border to determine: (a) students’ interest in continued use of floor-robots; and (b) students’ perceptions of ease-of-use of floor-robots. Floor-robots were selected largely because researchers had access to two types: a Roamer floor-robot and a Thymio floor-robot. For students from underserved populations, it is important that educators strengthen students’ self-efficacy in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas (Mau & Li, 2018), as well as increase students’ awareness and use of newer educational technologies, which is a growing field and includes floor-robots. However, in-service teachers may need guidance, support, and professional development when selecting and using new educational technologies such as floor-robots. Student-participants’ post-study surveys and interviews provided researchers with insight into elementary students’: (a) interest in floor-robots and robotics, (b) perceived ease-of-use, (c) preferred type of floor-robot in this particular study, and, (d) opinions on the potential uses and downsides of floor-robots.

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