Summer break is often a needed respite from school, but it’s also a natural time to think about how the classroom experience might be improved. Here’s a look at seven educational innovations from around the world. Should America consider adopting any of these? Some of these innovations are technological, while others are philosophical. Some are brand-new, while others have been around for a few decades. All are enhancing student learning in interesting and sometimes counterintuitive ways.
South Korea: Robot Teachers
In some South Korean classrooms, students learn English from Engkey, an egg-shaped robot English teacher with a cute humanoid face. Engkey is controlled remotely by a native English-speaker (at home in, say, Australia or the U.S.), whose face is projected on Engkey’s screen. Known as a “telepresence” robot, Engkey helps address shortages of native English teachers in South Korea. Other types of robots help students check in for class, inquire about their moods or teach them to dance.