SK Telecom releases a software education robot for elementary students

    SK Telecom releases a software education robot for elementary students

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    < In ‘SW playground that visits the students’, a free education program generated to relieve education gap, children are practicing coding by using a smart robot. >

    Due to a baduk game match between artificial intelligence and a man, the importance of software and algorithm is emerging in the society. Interest about coding school, which is a form of SW education, is growing in importance according to the public education of developed countries like England and the United States and our country also has plans to make SW education a requirement in 2018 and select 900 SW leading schools this year.

    SI released ‘Albert school,’ an elementary version of the SW education robot, in accordance to the trend, in March 23 and there are plans to speed up the expansion of elementary SW education.

    Compared to how the previous smart robot ‘Albert’ was controlled through smart phones and PC tablets, ‘Albert School’ made way to upgrade the system so that PC installed in classrooms can control robots. In other words, connection range expanded from previous smart devices by enabling PC for connection and Albert becomes operated through ‘Entry,’ an education program, and enables SW class to be conducted.

    Additionally, a 40 session ‘curriculum’ for elementary/middle school courses were constructed in order for school SW classes to take place for a year and this made way for it to be used conveniently at school.
    Albert, the smart robot, is characterized by how toddlers and elementary students can engage in analog learning activities by using coding cards and coding boards. Moreover, the robot moves when coding is conducted by using PC or smart phones so children can learn about coding education with excitement. Coding that is conducted by using Albert displays outstanding effectiveness so it is recognized both domestically and internationally. During the second semester of last year, ‘smart robot SW classroom’ was held under the supervision of Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science &amp; Creativity, a survey was conducted on the participants and it displayed that coding education is very effective for creativity and problem solving power.

    The research staffs of Konkuk University (Professor Lim Kul of Department of Educational Technology) and Korea University (Professor In Woo Park of the Department of Education) took measurement from 1,130 participating students and as a result, a significant increase was displayed in the problem solution skills and level of engagement. Moreover, shape creativity inspection for elementary student was executed on 200 students in 10 schools (Developed by Inpsyt) and the results showed a significant increase in the creativity of the students.

    In December, 2015, ‘smart robot coding school’ was awarded with the grand prize for the elementary, middle, and high school domain of ‘REIMAGINE EDUCATION 2015,’ which is a prestigious education award under the supervision of Watson School-QS in the United States.

    This award is also recognized as an authoritative education award in the United States and it was the first Korean education service to be awarded with this award, showing how United States, a nation which advances in coding, recognized its excellence. On March 18, Luis Alberto Moreno, the president of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) where the head office is situated in Washington, United States, visited SK Telecom to take part in the consultation of the business of smart robot coding school, a joint business targeted on Latin American countries.

    This is a business where SK Telecom and IDB work together to invest a total business expense of $ 2.4 million in Costa Rica, a Latin American nation, where demonstrative classrooms which apply ‘Albert’ in 300 classes (600 teachers, 6,000 students) is operated until 2018. If the results of the demonstration project which starts this May display outstanding results, then IDB plans to expand this business in all parts of Central and South America. Smart robot coding school can also actively relieve domestic education gap.

    SK Telecom collaborated with Entry Education Institute and began the provision of ‘visiting SW playground,’ a free education welfare program, to 7 community child center in the country and 130 children and will be conducting free education from March to June.

    When the president of IDB visited the T Tower, the head office of SK Telecom located in Euljiro, Seoul on March 18, Dong-Hyun Chang, the president of SK Telecom mentioned, “Coding education directed through robots is essential for the cultivation of future leaders equipped with the computing thinking skills required for the digital era of the 21 st century and we will work with IDB to establish demonstration schools in Costa Rica in order to take the lead in relieving information and education gap both domestically and internationally.”