A few years back, I met an interesting grad student who’d done work helping autistic kids learn using computers and avatars. Their work was part of a larger area of study which had concluded that autistic kids working with computerized avatars came out of their shell quicker than those working with actual teachers. Okay so, that was interesting.
We also know that all up-walking primates, yes, including Home sapiens are very good at learning by way of imitation, and we also have heard that phrase; “imitation is the highest form of flattery” and so, let’s take this one step further now. You see, I was watching that famous YouTube video on the TED Channel with Sir Ken Robinson who talks about the importance to teach creativity in our schools, of course, here in the US we have severe budgetary challenges with all that don’t we? It seems that’s the first thing they want to cut these days.
But if our schools cut out art, music and anything creative, then we get a bunch of kids graduating who think like drones due to all that inane rote memorization. So, is there a way to teach kids art early on, teaching them to paint without spending more for more classrooms and teachers? Well, let’s combine all this thoughts above with this new technology I will describe below;
There was an interesting article in Gizmag online tech gadget news on July 19, 2013 titled; “Children’s art goes high tech with WaterColorBot,” by Jonathan Fincher, which depicted a printer like painting machine, where brushes dipped in the paint and painted a picture based on a graphic program, similar to a printer but it actually painted. Well, consider if you will a robotic keyboard piano and how children can learn to play the piano by following along and watching and working with it? Well, could this device in Gizmag be the next step in training our future human artists, or will similar and more sophisticated machines replace human artists?
Before, I get into any complicated philosophical discussion of how robotics are changing our lives and replacing our jobs and careers, let’s talk about teaching creativity and art to kids for a moment using such a tech tool. Since we all learn very quickly from imitation, it seems that we ought to be using these types of techniques, and we ought to leverage such technologies, such as avatars, computers, robotics, holographic imagery, and 3-D printing to do just that. Please consider all this and think on it.