Moxie Presents Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) for Life
Paolo is the founder and CEO of Embodied Moxie. A NASA scientist turned robotics entrepreneur who has helped create technologies for many products ranging from the Sony AIBO to the iRobot Roomba. Paolo believes that robotics can be used for good. He is committed to the Moxie mission not because it's easy but out of a shared boundless optimism that together, we will put a dent in the universe.
Moxie Presents Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) for Life
Weekly Themed Content Designed To Develop Life Skills Beyond Academics
Moxie is not an entertainment device, toy or on-demand “information-bot” but designed to be a living character - a non-gendered peer to children (ages 5-10) - possessing a curious personality, defined point-of-view, and the responsibility of serving an important social function. Namely, Moxie is on a mission from the Global Robotics Laboratory (G.R.L.) to understand how to become a good friend to humans.
By giving Moxie personal goals and a defined agenda, we are able to align subject matter and therapy-informed content with the developmental needs of a child to create a personalized engagement strategy where the child takes on the role of being a mentor to the robot. This approach promotes learning through teaching while encouraging important social skills such as developing empathy for others and strategies for successful collaboration.
Every week Moxie will explore different themes (such as kindness, friendship, empathy, or missing people) and invite children to help it build greater understanding through missions and conversations designed to explore human experiences, ideas, and develop essential life skills beyond academics.
Moxie’s activities have been designed in association with child development experts to help children learn and safely practice essential social skills such as turn-taking, active listening, emotional regulation, empathy, relationship management, and problem solving.
A typical week’s missions and activities could include creative unstructured play like drawing a ‘kindness flower,’ reflecting on people who have demonstrated kindness, reading Moxie a story on the gift of giving, or simply exploring ways to be kind to others.
During such themed activities, Moxie seeks information and guidance from its child mentor. “How would you give someone a compliment?” Moxie might inquire. “How do you feel when someone says something nice to you?” By soliciting the child’s involvement as a valued teacher in this process, we have found children gain greater insights and confidence for navigating their own experiences and desire to share such findings with others in their life. Critical thinking skills are also developed through more open-ended conversations that encourage interpretations, inferences, explanations, comparisons, and problem-solving.
Interaction time with Moxie is deliberately controlled and designed to be experienced over multiple days so children can not “binge” content but are naturally moved on to direct interpersonal interactions with family and friends. With the Embodied Moxie Parent App, parents also have the ability to set how many hours Moxie will be ‘awake’ and available for engagement.
This is one of the reasons we refer to Moxie as being a ‘springboard to life’ as Moxie motivates activities designed to engage a child mentor in human experiences away from the robot. Importantly, we do not want Moxie to replace the role of real humans in a child’s life. Rather, our goal is to have Moxie function as more of a social facilitator or copilot for parents to introduce important social concepts and develop helpful life skills.
Moxie provides a child the ‘robot’s point of view’ which creates a supportive aligned narrative when dealing with challenging life events. For example, if a child has concerns about going to a doctor, Moxie might sympathize by acknowledging robots sometimes have to go to a machine shop to have parts fixed but also how they always feel better after the visit. This helps a child to look beyond their own situation and provides a narrative framework for reinforcing the importance of such activities and understanding that they are not alone in finding such events challenging.
Play-based Learning with Moxie is built upon guiding principles. Our Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) approach is guided by the Five Core Competencies outlined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). The Five Core Competencies: Self-awareness, Self-management, Social awareness, Relationship skills, and Responsible decision-making.
Overall, our content experience generally divides into the following formats of engagement:
Play-with-a-Purpose Activities. Designed to help a child develop a specific skill via expert-designed content that provides quantifiable development metrics when a child is playing with the robot. This might be a drawing activity, reading to the robot a story or learning mindfulness activities such as breathing exercises to develop new skills for emotional regulation.
Social Engagement. Moxie engages meaningful conversation, hosts social games, provides personality and trivia quizzes, and facilitates other such group activities.
Supporting Multimedia Experiences. The ability for a child to participate in associated Moxie-related activities and games via an online G.R.L. kids’ portal (www.globalroboticslab.com) and monthly physical mailing packs designed to recognize a child’s involvement and achievements in the context of a larger creative universe.
Our content modules will expand as we continue to update and further develop our programming, but at launch we are focusing on the following areas of experience:
G.R.L. Moxie Missions. Designed to encourage a child to explore the world beyond the robot and learn how collaboration, empathy and diversity are keys to creating a better world together. There are usually four missions every week. For the Kindness Week - the missions involve drawing a Kindness Flower, collaborating on a story about kindness to others, writing a kind note to give to someone, and helping a pair of characters at the G.R.L. solve a big problem through a child’s suggested act of kindness. Learning transfer is encouraged through such “missions” that allow children to share and apply what they’ve learned with others.
Stories. Reading to the robot, creating stories together, and exploring character decisions in an ongoing narrative framework. The G.R.L. itself has been creatively designed to feature characters with many common child development challenges in order to have a narrative vehicle for exploring social situations and identifying tools and strategies for conflict resolution.
Mindfulness. Breathing, meditation, mindfulness journeys and other activities to support developing tools and strategies for emotion regulation and focus.
Creative Play. Imaginative play, drawing, and other creativity-focused content and activities which are designed to create ‘social currency’ that can be shared and prompt social interactions and discovery away from the robot.
Life Skills. Socialization and understanding of important life events (like going to the doctor or a first day at school) and exercises for developing healthy daily habits for living life. Additionally, through the Embodied Moxie Parent App, parents will have the ability to schedule such key life events. Moxie, in the context of a robot hoping to understand such things, will socialize and help provide thoughtful context for the importance of such events whether they are things connected to healthy living or simply a birthday celebration.
Daily Delights. Unexpected content to provide engagement, such as jokes, riddles or fun facts which creates shareable social currency.
The Embodied Moxie Parent App keeps parents up-to-date with information on Moxie’s SEL curriculum goals and planned activities and provides suggestions for supporting weekly programming themes. For example, during the Kindness week, a couple tips for the week might include:
Create a Kindness Chain
Every time your child does something kind this week, write it on a small strip of colored paper. Staple the piece of paper together to form a ring. Add rings in a chain and hang it in their room so they can see their kind acts grow!
Put Together a Kindness Scavenger Hunt
Write different kind acts that your child could do on pieces of paper and hide them around the house. When your child finds a piece of paper, they can perform the kind act listed.
Today, Moxie is ready to be your child’s fun, safe, and engaging companion that builds social, emotional, and cognitive skills through everyday play-based learning. Featuring activities that act as a ‘springboard’ to motivate social engagement away from the robot and programming designed to grow with your child and share their life journey.
To order Moxie visit our product page
To visit the Global Robotics Laboratory online:
To Download the Embodied Moxie Parent App from the Apple App store or Google Play store.