What do BeeBots, Code Mouse, Botley, Sphero, egg cartoons, and storybooks have in common? They are hands-on tools that introduce coding logic skills to students with visual impairments and blindness. Coding has gone mainstream - classroom teachers are introducing preschool students to coding logic using fun, hands on manipulatives and basic robots. These mainstream activities are easily modified for students with visual impairments; and, these activities lay the foundation for critical math and O&M concepts!
For the past several months, Paths to Technology has been taking a close look at coding concepts being taught in mainstream classrooms, reviewing various robots and tools, and sharing ideas on how to incorporate these activities into O&M lessons and accessible math lessons. Due to the high number of requests for coding concept activities, Perkins is offering a two-day hands on workshop on September 19 and 20th.
This workshop will focus on "unplugged coding" - (no tech or low tech) coding concepts using every day manipulatives and activities that can be embedding into language arts and math classroom activities for the entire class. Additional discussions will include how to use these activities to develop strong O&M concepts and accessible digital math concepts. Activities will also include simple codeable manipulatives, "bots" (robots) for young students, accessible iPad coding concept apps, and Sphero activities (for older students). No coding experience is needed! This workshop will not include coding languages.
Coding has gone mainstream! With the high demand (and low supply) for qualified computer and information tech (IT) workers, tech companies are strategically creating apps and coding games for young students.
Coding – the language of technology – is now an essential skill which is being embedded into mainstream elementary and middle school classes. Similar to other subjects, TVIs are responsible for making coding activities accessible, for teaching the concepts that are unique for students who are visually impaired, and for teaching the pre-requisite tech skills required for students who rely on screen readers to successfully use the coding apps.
In this hands-on workshop TVIs and COMS will be introduced to a variety of coding concepts/logic games, including ‘unplugged’ coding activities (no tech), accessible iPad coding games, and Sphero (robotic ball) activities. No coding experience necessary! (This introductory workshop will not address writing code.) NOTE: Basic coding concepts parallel many O&M concepts, such as mental mapping, spatial relationships, logic, grids and routes.
Thursday, September 19th and Friday, September 20th, 2019 (two-day workshop)
- Teacher of the Visually Impaired
- Orientation and Mobility Specialists
- Mainstream classroom teachers