Professionals who support students with autism are trained to teach about social interactions, communication skills, and prosocial behaviors. Finding effective and successful support can be challenging given the distinctive needs of students with autism.
MOVIA Robotics has developed Robot-Assisted Instruction (RAI) to aid in the education and engagement of students with autism. With a team of experts including educators, psychologists, engineers, and computer scientists, MOVIA has created educational content that will engage and challenge students with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and other special needs.
Research has shown that children with autism and other special needs interact with robots and see them as social beings. They can become a helpful teaching companion in individual or group settings. Robots are beneficial tools for teachers and therapists who are working hard to improve the lives of their students. MOVIA can support you in your efforts to educate your students!
1. Fun and Engaging Learning
Robots are fun, and kids like them. Learning with one of MOVIA’s engaging robots can feel like playtime for students. Kids can engage with the robots socially as they would with friends or peers, and the robots keep the students’ attention. The students learn without feeling like they are in a traditional classroom setting.
Robot-Assisted Instruction augments the traditional teacher-centered education and livens the traditional classroom setting, which can be a rigid environment. Instead, student-centered learning replaces a one-size-fits-all method of teaching. With the robot as the facilitator, the student can engage one-on-one and learn at an individually-tailored, comfortable pace while still being challenged. Alternatively, professionals can explore using RAI in a group setting to build or practice skills with more than one student at a time.
MOVIA robots are programmed with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in mind, with lessons adaptable to individual student’s learning needs. Lessons can be differentiated for and adjusted to the student. RAI for children with autism can open up new pathways to learning and positively reinforce concepts and skills learned in activities for daily living, academics, and social situations.
2. More Freedom for the Teacher or Therapist
Robot-Assisted Instruction can supplement instruction from the teacher or therapist. In this more flexible learning environment, the student has greater control and becomes a more independent learner. The teacher or therapist subsequently has more freedom to observe and assess the child’s learning to inform further instruction.
The robot offers the student multiple means of presentation. This is incredibly helpful, as all students learn differently (i.e. processing speeds and learning styles). Robot-assisted learning provides various ways to incorporate different learning styles. Using robots to support teaching helps educators tailor their instruction based on individual student needs.
3. Less Pressure for the Student
We all know the feeling of giving a wrong answer in class and feeling judged by teachers or classmates. Many students are intimidated by this and, as a result, may not want to participate. Robots, on the other hand, are non-judgmental. They provide errorless learning sequences, positive praise and consistent tone of voice that is non-threatening for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. As a result, students will feel comfortable taking risks and attempting different approaches to problem-solving.
Robots are also consistent in their performance. They are patient, straightforward, and reliable. Their systematic actions and interactions are predictable for the student. The student can find comfort in the fact that the robot will provide the lesson in a similar format each time.
With Robot-Assisted Instruction, students feel safer to take more educational risks. They don’t feel the usual pressures of the classroom environment and are more likely to explore different possibilities. They will feel more independent and have a sense of control over their learning. As a bonus, robots don’t get tired! They can repeat activities and lessons as many times as the child or facilitator prefers, all the while giving the child positive reinforcement.
4. The Robot Adapts to the Student
Many people still struggle to understand what learning looks like for a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The student is constantly asked to adapt to traditional classroom settings and teaching styles, which is, in most cases, really difficult for any child and does not lead to effective learning. MOVIA is changing that narrative with their software. With robot-assisted learning, the opposite is true: the robot changes to adapt to the student’s needs. The robot meets the student where he or she is instead of expecting the student to conform to a teaching style that is difficult for the student to follow.
The robots offer the student a chance to participate in low-pressure scenarios. The student can learn and practice while receiving positive reinforcement and encouragement from the robot. The robot does not judge, and the student is free to take risks with no fear of judgment. With this practice, the student will also be more likely to practice and engage in social interactions outside the home or classroom.
5. Useful in Multiple Environments
MOVIA robots can be used in classrooms, particularly for small group or individual instructional support. They can also be used in therapeutic settings to assist and support treatments for social interactions, communication skills, and repetitive behaviors.
The home is also a great place to use Robot-Assisted Instruction since parents can monitor their child’s progress while engaging in thoughtful and fun lessons. Parents can be assured that their child is getting a quality education with an entirely predictable, non-judgmental robot friend.
Robot-Assisted Instruction is designed to benefit students with autism and other special needs with engaging lessons, fun activities, and stimulating interaction. It helps the teacher and therapist with lessons and activities that are individualized and effective in giving students the opportunity to build independent life skills.
Let MOVIA Robotics and its innovative line of friendly, educational robots help your students with autism and other special needs. Visit our website today for more information.