Cyborgs and streams in high-tech schooling edge
Robots and rivers have formed an unlikely connection, coming together for the benefit of human education.
This week is National Water Week, and educators are using it to show what could be the high-tech future of river-based education.
The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and the National Museum of Australia in Canberra have connected the museum's robots with students in their classroom, to learn about the historical use of water across the basin.
“Using robot technology developed by the CSIRO, we're able to take students on an interactive, customised tour of Murray–Darling Basin exhibits, ranging from the variability of water over the past 300,000 years, to the importance of water quality and its role in the location and prosperity of human settlements,” MDBA education director Will Inveen said.
“This is an exciting and unique way for us to extend the MDBA education program to students living in different parts of our vast river system.”
“Innovation and technology have played a major part in our water history and today, we're using these to teach our future custodians of the basin about the importance of water sustainability.”
National Museum special education projects manager Robert Bunzli said the joint project was an example of how organisations could partner with the National Museum to use its unique robot technology.
“These highly innovative education programs are being delivered Australia-wide, enabling students to control their own view of the museum gallery during the virtual tour, look at embedded digital content and 'put up their hand' to ask questions of the tour guide,” Mr Bunzli said.
If judged to be a success, this week’s trial may lead to more robot river sessions being offered to schools and communities in 2015.