Brett Henebery reports for The Educator (Australia) about a remarkable innovation:
NAO robots, developed by Aldebaran Robotics, a French robotics company, have been used for research and education purposes in schools and universities worldwide. […] One of these robots, called ‘Pink’, is part of a collaborative research project between the University of Queensland, the Queensland University of Technology, Swinburne University in Melbourne and the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA).
The students and teachers at Maitland Lutheran School have been using Pink to embed the language of the traditional owners of the land – the Narungga people, into the school’s new Digital Technologies subject. About 23% of the school’s students are Aboriginal.
AISSA educational consultant, Monica Williams, told The Educator that the project is exploring how a ‘sleeping’ language of one of the peoples of the oldest living culture in the world can be bolstered using innovative technology.
“At the moment, there is only one fluent speaker of the language in the world – Tania Wanganeen. She learnt Narungga based on records that were left by the German missionaries who worked in that area. Now, students are programming the robots to speak the language,” she explained.
“So what we wanted to do at Maitland Lutheran School was to embed the Australian Curriculum cross-curricular priority of Aboriginal and Torres-Strait Islander history and cultures and give a greater sense of pride to the Aboriginal students about their Aboriginal identity.”
Very cool, and when I was a kid I certainly would have enjoyed such a classroom aid. (Thanks, Trevor!)