Intelligent learning

In two different projects, Center for Playware develops concepts in which advanced technology enhances the students and trainees outcome of teaching.

“…abstract models and theories, which are difficult to explain in the traditional teaching, become tangible described as behavior in objects”

“Learning by doing” is the most basic form of learning. The human learns primarily, and most efficiently, through actions in interaction with its surroundings, and we learn faster when we get the opportunity to experiment with concrete objects.

With the invention of “intelligent learning materials” the Center for Playware attempts to transform abstract teaching into practical learning processes where the students and the trainees acquire theoretical knowledge in interaction with physical objects based on robotic technology.

The crucial difference between intelligent learning materials and other materials, is that advanced technology, in principle, makes it possible to create objects with exactly the desired qualities. This means that many abstract models, theories and rules, which can be difficult to explain and understand in traditional teaching, can be more tangible and concrete as a behavior in the objects.

The central idea is that the students can learn through the basic way, which we human beings mainly learn – by trying different things, throwing out hypotheses, testing and reflecting, while we experiment freely with the objects.

In the two projects the idea is used for as different areas of teaching as technological understanding, programming and musical understanding.

When teaching technological understanding and programming modular robots consisting of so-called intelligent blocks, e.g. LEGO-blocks with built-in microcomputer, sensors and motors in each block, are used. It requires no specific qualifications, like e.g. knowledge on programming language, to create a robot as the system gives immediate response during the building process. It is “programming-by-building”.

In musical understanding the intelligent blocks are also used, but it is crucial that the music itself is provided as a material. The music can be split up and put together in numerous ways. The students can experiment and create well-sounding musical constellations within selected genres, without necessarily having musical qualifications. Through the process of creation the students learn to understand the composition and characteristics of the music. And here the response is immediate too – as “composing-by-building”.