Friday, 4 December 2009

AI-BO in Class P

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AI-BO in Class P
I have always quite liked the idea of having a class pet, but then their is the cleaning, feeding, looking after at the weekend and inevitable death and tears that follow. This week, one of children brought in their AI-BO, a first generation model. Now we have a pet. AI-BO, as she, note not it, is now named has had a massive impact upon the class in the very short space of time she has been in. With the children relating the issues they are having with trying to train the robot, which is set in puppy mode, to their own learning journeys. Children commenting on issues such as patience, persistence, listening. the ability to offer reward when commands are followed and the problems they have in not just letting AI-BO do whatever it wants, but actually trying to get the robot to follow commands. Now, we have an online diary built into our class Fronter portal. A space set out as an open forum where the children record their success at training AI-BO and discuss their failures when the dogs just simply whats to stand up, sit down and be tickled. I have a strong underlining pedagogy that learning should occur within a co constructed way, not us as teachers merely instructing children to follow mechanical instructions relating to knowledge we assume they know very little about. By simply watching the children playing with AI-BO its clear they already have an understanding of what we mean by learning dispositions, perseverance, tolerance, nurture and empathy. Their discussions sharing training failures and delights at the small responses they receive are great to watch. By training this robot dog in a behaviouristic way, they are experiencing a constructivist, enquiry lead learning journey, co-constructed amongst peers, shared through our online diary and enjoyed by the adults watching on. This journey with AI-BO and its impact on the class will continue to be recorded in these spaces.

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