The research we are going to present refers to a post-digital perspective which contends that all education takes into consideration both digital and non-digital, especially with regard to both design of educational activities and practices that unfold in the doing of those activities (Fawns, 2019, p. 132). The idea that an educational activity can be entirely digital or on-line is rejected, because it always involves a combination of digital, biological, material, and social (Jandrić et al., 2018). This perspective encourages a more critical stance which tries to overcome a naïve conception of digital or non-digital education and give rise to an integrated education totality, where the focus is on an informed design and setting, whether digital or not (Fawns, 2019, p. 141). Within this frame, as Hrastinski et al. (2019, p. 428) highlight, Educational Robotics (ER) can be used alongside both digital and non-digital practices, as regards both robots with a physical body, social interactive capabilities, and some level of artificial intelligence and non-humanoid robots, i.e. physical robots that can be controlled by human beings – following Seymour Papert’s work on the Logo educational programming language and the turtle robot (Papert, 1980). As pointed out by Papert (1993) and much of the literature in this area (lastly, see Bozzi, Datteri & Zecca, 2021), technology should not be an add-on to a pre-conceived education system, but it should be as much part of all learning, towards areas of knowledge now inaccessible. Digital and technology should be part of a transformation process which succeeds in overcoming dichotomous logics (first of all, the dichotomy between nature and culture: Benvenuto, 2020), looking at a learning culture towards a renewed ecosystem theory of human development (Bronfenbrenner, 2005). This means opening to new spaces of action and forms of sociability, in which narrow conceptions of “media” are outdated (Eugeni, 2015) for a different design of school system and teaching and learning methods. Within this framework, the research question is: is it possible design and implement didactic activities geared to overcome a fragmentary aesthetics, by melding digital and non-digital, that pursue a more enabling education shaping new exchange contexts? In order to start answering this research question, we present an idiographic process study on a laboratory of ER that the University of Milano-Bicocca conducted in Monza, in the Popular School managed by the “Antonia Vita” Association, which, since 1993, has been dealing with youth discomfort through different services aimed at providing educational and relational support. This Popular School (or Second Chance School: European Commission, 1995) welcomes every year, in morning school hours, a classroom of 12 adolescents on average (from 13 to 16 years old) with serious social and school difficulties, with the main aim of enabling them to obtain a lower secondary school diploma. The research team had the opportunity to conduct this laboratory thanks to a three-year scientific collaboration signed in June 2020 between the Bicocca University and the Association; in addition, the activities were fulfilled in the frame of the H2020 SwafS Project “Communities for Sciences (C4S). Towards promoting an inclusive approach in Science Education”, of which the Bicocca University is partner. The ER laboratory consisted of 7 sessions (each lasting about 90’ and video-recorded) carried out by the research team with Coderbot from February to April 2021; it involved a maximum of 7 students at a time from socio-culturally disadvantaged contexts, some of them with disabilities and learning difficulties. The design provided for 5 phases: 1) engagement, to gather students’ representations on concepts as “science” and “robots”; 2) Game of Science (GoS), with a robo-ethological approach (Datteri & Zecca, 2016); 3) algomotricity or body simulation, i.e. the unplugged phase (Lonati et al., 2015); 4) training of 2 student-tutors on some functionalities and programming problems of Coderbot (which uses the Blockly coding language); and 5) peer tutoring with a PBL approach. The construction of protocols for conducting the activities aimed to apply a mixed model that crosses the dimensions of Educational Robotic Applications (ERA: Catlin & Blamires, 2010) with the Universal Design for Learning (UDL: Hitchcock et al., 2002), to promote a more inclusive, personalize and flexible approach for equity in learning and opportunities. According to this model, digital media and technology are tools that can ease an UDL curriculum based on interactive didactics; more specifically, educational robots are conceived as tools of semiotic mediation through which to think, digital artefacts that modify models of knowledge and work (Rossi, 2016). So, robots can be beneficial in operationalizing, formalizing and quantifying ideas and theories (Hoffmann & Pfeifer, 2018, p. 9), fitting into the embodied and pragmatic change in cognitive sciences (Engel et al., 2013); in turn, first analyses of recordings suggest that the understanding of robot handling by students seems to have benefited from an extensive appeal to the unplugged phase, that assumed great importance for students throughout all sessions, especially in the coding and programming phase. Did this integrated model succeed in promoting engagement and interaction? More specifically: are students able to build together an unplugged algorithm – and with what difficulties – and have it executed clearly and precisely? At what times and for what purposes do they resort to algomotricity during the proposed coding activities (phases 4 and 5)? What modes of interaction and communication do students implement when they are led to merge digital and non-digital? Data analysis is in progress. In this first phase, through the analysis of recordings, the aim is therefore to examine the mentalization process of the robot’s action enacted by students and the relationship between algomotricity and programming, in order to start understanding whether such proposals can better enable adolescents to participate, collaborate and learn (by an adult or peer). In this regard, the analysis will focus also on the interaction and communication functions that students adopt (both with each other and with the adults) when they resort to unplugged modes for constructing or solving a programming problem: in this case, data are coded through the ATLAS.ti software, using a specific tool named ODIS - Observation of class discussion (Perucchini, Piastra & Zecca, 2020). Finally, the analysis may also be supplemented by the findings of some short interviews made with the students involved at the end of the second session, aimed at finding out from their voice the degree of interest in this laboratory, what the preferred activities are and what the meeting with the inventor of Coderbot raised, also trying to probe the level of students’ awareness of certain learning or actions performed.

Zecca, L., Cotza, V. (2021). Interconnect algomotricity and programming for enabling education. A laboratory with Coderbot in the field of popular schools. Intervento presentato a: SIREM. Convegno 2021. Il post digitale. Società, culture, didattica, Mattinata, Italia.

Interconnect algomotricity and programming for enabling education. A laboratory with Coderbot in the field of popular schools

Zecca, L;Cotza, V
2021

Abstract

The research we are going to present refers to a post-digital perspective which contends that all education takes into consideration both digital and non-digital, especially with regard to both design of educational activities and practices that unfold in the doing of those activities (Fawns, 2019, p. 132). The idea that an educational activity can be entirely digital or on-line is rejected, because it always involves a combination of digital, biological, material, and social (Jandrić et al., 2018). This perspective encourages a more critical stance which tries to overcome a naïve conception of digital or non-digital education and give rise to an integrated education totality, where the focus is on an informed design and setting, whether digital or not (Fawns, 2019, p. 141). Within this frame, as Hrastinski et al. (2019, p. 428) highlight, Educational Robotics (ER) can be used alongside both digital and non-digital practices, as regards both robots with a physical body, social interactive capabilities, and some level of artificial intelligence and non-humanoid robots, i.e. physical robots that can be controlled by human beings – following Seymour Papert’s work on the Logo educational programming language and the turtle robot (Papert, 1980). As pointed out by Papert (1993) and much of the literature in this area (lastly, see Bozzi, Datteri & Zecca, 2021), technology should not be an add-on to a pre-conceived education system, but it should be as much part of all learning, towards areas of knowledge now inaccessible. Digital and technology should be part of a transformation process which succeeds in overcoming dichotomous logics (first of all, the dichotomy between nature and culture: Benvenuto, 2020), looking at a learning culture towards a renewed ecosystem theory of human development (Bronfenbrenner, 2005). This means opening to new spaces of action and forms of sociability, in which narrow conceptions of “media” are outdated (Eugeni, 2015) for a different design of school system and teaching and learning methods. Within this framework, the research question is: is it possible design and implement didactic activities geared to overcome a fragmentary aesthetics, by melding digital and non-digital, that pursue a more enabling education shaping new exchange contexts? In order to start answering this research question, we present an idiographic process study on a laboratory of ER that the University of Milano-Bicocca conducted in Monza, in the Popular School managed by the “Antonia Vita” Association, which, since 1993, has been dealing with youth discomfort through different services aimed at providing educational and relational support. This Popular School (or Second Chance School: European Commission, 1995) welcomes every year, in morning school hours, a classroom of 12 adolescents on average (from 13 to 16 years old) with serious social and school difficulties, with the main aim of enabling them to obtain a lower secondary school diploma. The research team had the opportunity to conduct this laboratory thanks to a three-year scientific collaboration signed in June 2020 between the Bicocca University and the Association; in addition, the activities were fulfilled in the frame of the H2020 SwafS Project “Communities for Sciences (C4S). Towards promoting an inclusive approach in Science Education”, of which the Bicocca University is partner. The ER laboratory consisted of 7 sessions (each lasting about 90’ and video-recorded) carried out by the research team with Coderbot from February to April 2021; it involved a maximum of 7 students at a time from socio-culturally disadvantaged contexts, some of them with disabilities and learning difficulties. The design provided for 5 phases: 1) engagement, to gather students’ representations on concepts as “science” and “robots”; 2) Game of Science (GoS), with a robo-ethological approach (Datteri & Zecca, 2016); 3) algomotricity or body simulation, i.e. the unplugged phase (Lonati et al., 2015); 4) training of 2 student-tutors on some functionalities and programming problems of Coderbot (which uses the Blockly coding language); and 5) peer tutoring with a PBL approach. The construction of protocols for conducting the activities aimed to apply a mixed model that crosses the dimensions of Educational Robotic Applications (ERA: Catlin & Blamires, 2010) with the Universal Design for Learning (UDL: Hitchcock et al., 2002), to promote a more inclusive, personalize and flexible approach for equity in learning and opportunities. According to this model, digital media and technology are tools that can ease an UDL curriculum based on interactive didactics; more specifically, educational robots are conceived as tools of semiotic mediation through which to think, digital artefacts that modify models of knowledge and work (Rossi, 2016). So, robots can be beneficial in operationalizing, formalizing and quantifying ideas and theories (Hoffmann & Pfeifer, 2018, p. 9), fitting into the embodied and pragmatic change in cognitive sciences (Engel et al., 2013); in turn, first analyses of recordings suggest that the understanding of robot handling by students seems to have benefited from an extensive appeal to the unplugged phase, that assumed great importance for students throughout all sessions, especially in the coding and programming phase. Did this integrated model succeed in promoting engagement and interaction? More specifically: are students able to build together an unplugged algorithm – and with what difficulties – and have it executed clearly and precisely? At what times and for what purposes do they resort to algomotricity during the proposed coding activities (phases 4 and 5)? What modes of interaction and communication do students implement when they are led to merge digital and non-digital? Data analysis is in progress. In this first phase, through the analysis of recordings, the aim is therefore to examine the mentalization process of the robot’s action enacted by students and the relationship between algomotricity and programming, in order to start understanding whether such proposals can better enable adolescents to participate, collaborate and learn (by an adult or peer). In this regard, the analysis will focus also on the interaction and communication functions that students adopt (both with each other and with the adults) when they resort to unplugged modes for constructing or solving a programming problem: in this case, data are coded through the ATLAS.ti software, using a specific tool named ODIS - Observation of class discussion (Perucchini, Piastra & Zecca, 2020). Finally, the analysis may also be supplemented by the findings of some short interviews made with the students involved at the end of the second session, aimed at finding out from their voice the degree of interest in this laboratory, what the preferred activities are and what the meeting with the inventor of Coderbot raised, also trying to probe the level of students’ awareness of certain learning or actions performed.
No
slide
Scientifica
Post-digital, Educational Robotics, Enabling education and didactics, Algomotricity, Popular and second chance schools
Italian
SIREM. Convegno 2021. Il post digitale. Società, culture, didattica
https://www.sirem.org/33-ita/
Zecca, L., Cotza, V. (2021). Interconnect algomotricity and programming for enabling education. A laboratory with Coderbot in the field of popular schools. Intervento presentato a: SIREM. Convegno 2021. Il post digitale. Società, culture, didattica, Mattinata, Italia.
Zecca, L; Cotza, V
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Convegno_SIREM_2021_Zecca+Cotza-compresso.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia di allegato: Other attachments
Dimensione 1.69 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.69 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/348117
Citazioni
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
Social impact