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The case of classroom robots: teachers’ deliberations on the ethical tensions

Journal article
Authors Sofia Serholt
Wolmet Barendregt
Asimina Vasalou
Patrícia Alves-Oliveira
Aidan Jones
Sofia Petisca
Ana Paiva
Published in AI & SOCIETY: Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Communication
Volume 32
Issue 4
Pages 613–631
ISSN 0951-5666
Publication year 2017
Published at The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction, and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS)
Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 613–631
Language en
Links link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s...
rdcu.be/nm4U
Keywords Educational robots, Social implications, Ethics, Teachers’ perspectives, Thematic analysis, Focus group
Subject categories Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems), Ethics

Abstract

Robots are increasingly being studied for use in education. It is expected that robots will have the potential to facilitate children’s learning and function autonomously within real classrooms in the near future. Previous research has raised the importance of designing acceptable robots for different practices. In parallel, scholars have raised ethical concerns surrounding children interacting with robots. Drawing on a Responsible Research and Innovation perspective, our goal is to move away from research concerned with designing features that will render robots more socially acceptable by end users toward a reflective dialogue whose goal is to consider the key ethical issues and long-term consequences of implementing classroom robots for teachers and children in primary education. This paper presents the results from several focus groups conducted with teachers in three European countries. Through a thematic analysis, we provide a theoretical account of teachers’ perspectives on classroom robots pertaining to privacy, robot role, effects on children and responsibility. Implications for the field of educational robotics are discussed.

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