As part of software education wherein children program the movements and sensing of a real robot, this kind of education enables children to learn the characteristics of already verified smart robots using numerous creative education contents and improve their creative thinking. As a programming education solution using coding that helps children learn not only science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) but also how to think like a computer (logical thinking, problem solving capacity, and creativity), it can operate even without a high-spec computer or Internet environment. It is an education solution that also enables easy understanding of hardware and software technology such as digital literacy. As such, both teachers and students can easily install, manage, and learn using the solution.
The world is on its way to undergoing a software-based science and technology era. Software has become a basic tool that can show the world that society could only imagine before, thus showing that software education has become indispensable. However, instead of simple operations of already-made programs, in this project, children get to design and execute programs and thereby learn how to think more creatively and broadly. The Smart Robot Coding School provides an easy-to-use interface for students to order various movements and move a robot using programs.
The Smart Robot Coding School moves blocks inside a smartphone so that students may carry out missions step by step and learn the basic principles of coding. Students can freely program coding using Stack Mini blocks to move robots, change the color of their LED eyes, and have the robots make different sounds. In addition, the recently developed Stack Cards are cards wherein the orders that robots read are inscribed, and based on which, the robots send physical signals to a smartphone to transform the signals into the digital. The signals are then again transformed into physical signals that move robots in the order of the card orders. As such, it is coding education through which children do not learn coding simply using a screen but through actual robot movements.
Children can learn robot sensing and control technologies using hardware (smart robots and parts), as well as use various applications, to learn STEM. In addition, we are developing curricula with teachers to use the program for regular teaching as software education using coding. We are also jointly advancing into the global market with global LEGO distribution companies and robotics education companies. Furthermore, we are cooperating with major global education-related organizations, such as the French Ministry of National Education, New Zealand Ministry of Education, UAE Ministry of Education, GSMA Capital, and Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), to expand our business in the public sector as well.
The Smart Robot Coding School is an after-school creative class program for elementary schools adopted by Korean offices of education. Its effect of improving the coding education concept of children has been verified to the point that about 200 Korean schools are expected to adopt it as part of their regular curricula. A group of experts consisting of Korean professors in the education-related field has verified the effects of the school and plan to publish papers on the school in global academic journals. In addition, we are working with the French Ministry of National Education on a mathematics reinforcement project (OCHINEE Project) targeting kindergarten and elementary school students of France and conducting a pilot project to narrow the education gap between kindergarten and elementary school students of Latin America in Costa Rica with IADB.
The coding education program of the Smart Robot Coding School can be run even without a computer or Internet environment, making it an applicable item in teaching children in mountainous regions, islands, and countries with poor ICT infrastructure. In Korea, SK Telecom plans to expand its social contribution program called Mobile T.um, which is in operation in small schools in rural areas where children do not benefit from IT education, by providing the Smart Robot Coding School services in such regions.
Globally, we plan to expand our project conducted with IADB to all regions of Latin America, including Costa Rica, and cooperate with the New Zealand government to join its project for kindergarten and elementary school students’ education using ICT. We thereby plan to contribute to the improved software education of children worldwide. We are further deliberating with GSMA Capital and the Catalonian government of Spain to implement the cooperation model of their mSchool project from 2016.
In addition, we are developing upgraded versions of the smart robots to remove the software barrier and enable the operation of the program on multiple operating systems (OSs) such as Android OS, iOS, and Windows OS. We also plan to improve UI/UX so that kindergarten and elementary school students may more easily enjoy learning, as well as develop various contents and curricula, distribute them through Internet video lectures, and complete platforms for their distribution to offer easier access to learning.