Improving education in developing countries using robotic platforms
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© 2019, Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature.In developing countries, educational programs have been using an out of date teaching methodology, where students¿ only work is to listen to the professors¿ lessons without having practical applications or hands-on experience, thereby provoking a decrease in student attention span, motivation, and boredom with learning processes. This work proposes the use of robotic platforms inside elementary schools and universities to improve and evaluate the usability and effectiveness of robots on students¿ attention spans, motivation, and knowledge acquirement during their classes. This work mentions a case of study in Mexico where the use of the robotic platforms was evaluated. To evaluate the learning process of undergraduate students, a hexapod robot was used throughout a basic programming course to help the students learn about robotics programming and path planning algorithms. At the end of the course, several surveys were given to the students to evaluate their perceptions about the course and the use of the robotic platform. In the elementary school, a NAO Robot was used to give students four different diligences in physics, mathematics and physical education classes. During these experimentations, the attention span of the students and their ability to use the robotic platforms were observed, using a behavior observation protocol; also, their knowledge acquisition before and after class was evaluated. The results showed that the use of a robotic platform in class helps the students improve their knowledge acquisition and increases their motivation and attention span. Also, the surveys and usability analysis demonstrate that the design of the diligences and course projects were sufficient to generate greater interest among the students in the topics taught in school.