Technology and its benefits

Stephen McHugh
This post was last updated on
August 19, 2022

There is no doubt that technology has evolved a lot over the years. I've certainly lived long enough now to notice significant technological changes in the wider world, and how beneficial these changes can be to society as a whole.  The benefits include, but are not limited to the ease and speed of access to, and processing of information, along with the speed and ease of communication.

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How today’s technology may have benefitted me

I believe today’s technology would have benefited me greatly when I was young. Going back many years to my childhood, I recall a device I found came across at the time.  I can’t remember its name, but one thing I do remember is that I found it very interactive. The thing I liked about it was the fact it made the sound of each letter I pressed on its keyboard.  Technologies like this have always fascinated me, and have left me wondering how they work. 

And there is a robot already developed which I believe would have been very useful for me. I like the fact that it can teach emotions and feelings, and also get one into the habit of concentrating and interacting better in a non-judgemental way. I sometimes lost concentration in the classroom when I would be in my own world.

The company behind the robot is called  Luxai. I’ve never used it, but I’ve heard and read positive things about it. I first came across it from a link on Twitter to a video by Dan Jones who runs a Youtube channel called  The Aspie World. It’s clear to me that he’s been on an interesting and remarkable journey, giving a wonderful insight into what it’s like to live with autism.  Check the links out below for his views on this robot.

A Robot For Autism Learning? [A NEED FOR YOU?] - YouTube

Autism Learning: The Robot To Change Your Life MUST SEE

When I did an IT course, some group work involved working to try and get mini interactive systems working. The group I was in was given a lift and we had to not only set it up to get it moving but to stop at whichever level it was called to. The latter proved to be the more difficult to do. It was a matter to ‘tell’ the system to stop the motor when it sensed the lift was at the level to which it was called from. 

There were wires plugged into outlets with numbers from the lift levels. If the wire from the middle floor was plugged into outlet 2, you’d set the motor to 0 when outlet 2 was at 1, which would mean the lift was sensed to be at the middle level. And the motor would be set at 1 if outlet 2 was 0, which would mean the lift was not at the middle level.  I can’t remember it exactly, but this is as best as I can describe it from memory. For those of you familiar with logic gates, 0s and 1s are the ways in which they ‘communicate’ with one another.

Language

PinThe use of robots can be extended to the school curriculums. I had language and speech development delays myself, and wouldn’t say things until I could say them perfectly. My language development delays meant it took me longer to work out what I was being asked to do and understand things. 

In addition, I didn’t really appreciate that adjectives were for describing things and people and that nouns were for naming things. One thing I like about the robot from Luxai is that it tries to get a child to understand adjectives, like by getting the child to fill in gaps in sentences using objects. A good example of this I saw was the pictures of objects and the comparisons of their sizes. This, I believe would have made it easier for me to gain knowledge about adjectives more quickly.

There was also a time when I was sent to a class where I would work on the alphabet one letter at a time. During each session, I would be asked to draw four objects whose names began with whatever letter I was working on whatever day. So for example, when I was working on the letter B, I’d be asked to draw 4 objects such as a bat, ball, berry, and a book.  If such a robot was around when I was at primary school, an ideal scenario for me here would be to have the robot’s screen displaying a number of objects at random and ask me to identify which objects begin with, let's say, the letter A.

There was also a time when I struggled to a degree with phonics. My mum once did some work on phonics with me in the form of a quiz which got me cooperating better. Again, with the robot, it would have to be programmed to say the sound of a particular group of letters to me and ask me to identify which group was being referred to. 

Emotions

When I was a child, I would have difficulties recognising emotions in people. One time, my mum found pictures of cats and helped me to work out whether a particular cat looked happy, angry, or frightened.  She also found several pictures of eyes and guided me into figuring out whether a particular set of eyes meant a person was happy, frightened, lonely, or tired. For an activity here, the robot could be programmed to display a picture representing a particular emotion, and I would have to point to which emotion was being displayed.

MathematicsPin

I saw myself as a visual learner. Some suggestions here could be to show pictures of what fractions look like. An example of this could be to show objects with certain portions of them shaded in. The user could be asked to identify which fraction represents the shaded part of the object. 

When I got good at mental arithmetic, I liked to test myself on any device which offered quizzes on working sums, particularly multiplication. With mathematics, it would take me longer to understand new concepts, and thus needed more support on these matters.

 

My general view

I like the fact that it is possible to use robots for educational purposes, especially as they can be interactive as well as non-judgemental. I have always had a particular fascination with how these kinds of things and other related technologies work. Based on my understanding and personal experiences, I have also mentioned ideas of my own in this post about what sort of activities could be included on the robot. I wish a device like this was around when I was young, not only for my needs but for the benefit of my parents and teachers too. 

I have included links to 2 of my blog posts below if you wish to read them.

Links

My experiences of learning to read and write

My experiences of learning to understand maths concepts


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