Developing Cognition with Collaborative Robotic Activities
Journal of Educational Technology & Society Volume 12, Number 4, ISSN 1176-3647 e-ISSN 1176-3647
Cognition, faculty related to perception, imagination, memory, and problem solving, refers to internal mental processes through which sensorial input is acquired, elaborated, used, and stored. One of its importances relies on the fact that it affects in a direct way the learning potential. It has been shown that, even thou cognitive processes develop side by side with biological maturity, this cognitive development can be enhanced by means of mediated learning as signaled by Feuerstein's Mediated Learning theory. Based on this theory is that we propose an intervention model that addresses school academic issues using technologically assisted small group collaboration, pursuing a dual academic objective: to thrive students' cognitive processes while addressing school curriculum topics. The purpose, therefore, is to balance the students' cognitive differences by means of in-school content-filled classroom activities. Our aim is to make use of peer mediation in a real world setting with a virtual construction of it. In this paper, we describe this novel intervention model along with an in-school usage experience. For this, we present an activity designed for high school students, specifically aimed to assist the learning of kinematics, graph interpretation, and graph plotting. In this activity the students work in groups of three, using a robot and wirelessly interconnected Personal Digital Assistants (PDA). By means of a controlled experiment, we show how technologically-supported peer mediation promotes the students' enrichment of their cognitive processes in each of the different stages of the mental act (input-elaboration-output), favoring communication skills, insight, and reasoning, while also restraining impulsive conduct and trial-and-error answers. (Contains 3 tables and 5 figures.)
Mitnik, R., Nussbaum, M. & Recabarren, M. (2009). Developing Cognition with Collaborative Robotic Activities. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 12(4), 317-330.