This paper will refer to STEAM education, focusing first on clarifying the STEAM acronym and then on the principles on which this methodology is based. Suggested pedagogical practices that can be adopted to integrate STEAM education in the educational program will be presented, followed by a reference to the interdisciplinary approach of educational robotics and its introduction in kindergarten. The research part of this paper will include a survey conducted in kindergartens of Primary Education in the Third District of Athens. The research aimed to explore perceptions, possibilities, and limitations expressed by preschool teachers regarding STEAM methodology and the introduction of Educational Robotics in kindergarten. This research highlighted the need to implement innovative approaches and ensure teacher training, which should be strengthened and upgraded by incorporating STEAM pedagogy and new practices for teaching and learning.
The interest in the future configuration, focusing on the innovative technologies and more specifically on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math), is remarkably increased. The value of STEAM education is undeniable as a means of developing basic skills and competencies of young students improving the learning process, developing communication skills, and solving real-life difficulties. The current research study was completed in the context of an actual learning process, with the view to study educational robotics in kindergarten students to engage them with STEAM education, using the programmable robot Bee-Bot® initially. The didactic intervention was held, which was developed in two phases. More specifically, a sample of 12 children (age range: 5–6 years old) took part in an intensive educational robotics lab for 16 sessions (4 weeks) by using a bee-shaped robot called Bee-Bot®. The results of our current research study revealed that STEAM education could also take place in a speech therapy clinic using the appropriate educational robots. Our young students developed and mastered knowledge in programming and computerizing, and algorithmic thinking with playful mod using educational robots, and they also built their vocabulary and develop communication skills.
In the present study, we tried to find possible obstacles that Primary and Secondary education teachers face when managing Digital Learning Objects (DLOs) and/or Digital Simulation Tools (DST) in Science. One hundred seventy-six teachers from all over Greece answered the questionnaire. The results showed that the main reason for refusing to deal with DLOs and DSTs is the technological equipment. Also, the lack of adequate training level B 'results in about 25% of teachers not knowing the DSTs and 30% not knowing the DLOs. Factors such as the teaching experience, the specialty, the Pan-Hellenic examinations, the classes they teach, and the number of students they have per class negatively affect the teachers' attitude to get involved with the DLOs the DSTs. Finally, the negative attitude seems to be related to the lack of trust in the curriculum content as teachers prefer to search DLOs and DSTs on the internet connection. Further research with mixed methods of analysis would help to obtain satisfactory results.
Tzimopoulos Nikos, Provelengios Petros, Iosifidou Maria
This article describes distance teacher training for educational robotics' pedagogical use, e.g., the planning, the implementation, and the evaluation by the teachers involved. The training seminars were organized as part of the Greek eTwinning community's seminars. They were based on a Teacher Practice Community of the South Aegean about using ICT in teaching practice. From 2018 we have included seminars on educational robotics. There is a growing interest in the use of educational robotics in teaching practice. Although the topic is such that face-to-face contact and experimentation with the subject is considered necessary, we tried to educate teachers using remote learning methodology. The project was successful, and the evaluation of the seminars was very positive.