Abstract: Siebert, S. & Tolksdorf, N. (2018, 19.10.): Raising Robotic Natives? Ethical Aspects of Learning with Robots in Kindergarten. Third International Conference on Communication and Media Studies, University of California, Berkeley, USA. [Tandem 4]

Today’s childhood is shaped by media even before entering school. However, the media socialization of children varies with respect to the socio-economic status of their parents (MPFS, 2015; DIVSI, 2015). In current research, the relation between media socialization and the socio-economic status is captured by the “digital divide” or “digital inequality”. While digital divide refers to the differences concerning the access to technologies, digital inequality refers to the varying media usage (Kutscher, 2014). Among children, inequality also exists in terms of educational opportunities, which is fundamentally shaped by children’s language skills (Cabell et al., 2011). The development of children’s early language skills is crucial for nearly all subsequent learning and social participation. Therefore, the presented project aims at exploring the possibilities of language and media education through the use of social robots from two disciplines: We will apply social robots to scaffold children’s language learning by systematically consolidating language routines in an experimental setting (psycholinguistic perspective). While this method allows us to investigate the values of social robots for learning, it raises many open questions with respect to what are the legal, ethical and social implications regarding the use of social robots in long-term settings within a kindergarten (media pedagogical perspective). In our presentation, we will address the ethical aspects and social implications going hand in hand with new requirements towards teachers.