This Research-to-Practice Full Paper presents a reflective analysis of robotic literacy activities focused on children and teenagers. Robotic literacy is integrated or being integrated into the education system for children at an early age all around the world. Most of the teachers in charge of this education lack skills and are left to fend for themselves. This study proposes to focus on the discourses made by teachers and learners during such activities, and especially the metaphors used spontaneously. It takes shape through two robotic literacy activities. The first activity involved the robots BeeBot, BlueBot and Ozobot in seven classes of children from 3 to 10 years old. The second activity consisted of a five half-days training for 13 participants from 8 to 15 years old. They designed, built and programmed a robot. Young people's representations and interactions with robots involved in educational activities are observed to contribute to the development of questions for critical technology education. Analyses are carried out using the conceptual metaphor theory of Lakoff and Jonhson. Three roles are identified: the metaphor that helps to understand, the metaphor that makes tangible, and the metaphor that serves as a catchphrase. A metaphor can take more than one role and, whatever its role, can be classified as a living or non-living metaphor. Using living metaphors may hide aspects of the machine and raises ethical issues, inter alia. It is then essential to deconstruct young people's representations of the machine. This can be achieved by analyzing robots as social constructions that reflect human intentions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2020 - Proceedings
PublisherIEEE Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781728189611
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2020
EventIEEE Frontiers in Education Conference - FIE2020 - Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: 21 Oct 202024 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


ConferenceIEEE Frontiers in Education Conference - FIE2020


  • Coding
  • Computational thinking
  • Conceptual Metaphor
  • Digital Literacy
  • Early childhood
  • Educational Robot
  • Elementary Education
  • Programming
  • Representations
  • Robotics
  • Secondary Education
  • Understanding


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