PPIG 2019 - 30th Annual Workshop
Coding to Learn and Create: New Modes of Programming for Learners Who Have Been Left Out (Work in Progress)
Colin Clark, Sepideh Shahi, Simon Bates, Clayton Lewis
Abstract: While learning to code is increasingly becoming mandatory for elementary school students in many countries, learners with disabilities—especially those with complex or intersectional disabilities—are often excluded. These learners depend on assistive technologies to participate in class, communicate with family, and share with their friends. For this reason, we argue that students with disabilities can significantly benefit from the process of learning how to express themselves using computational means, and have the most at stake in becoming producers of technologies rather than simply consumers. Indeed, working with these learners raises significant questions about what coding actually entails, and the motivations and goals for learning how. The Coding to Learn and Create project is designing new educational coding tools that support learners with disabilities. With an emphasis on collaborative and artistic activities, we are exploring new forms of programming that support the development of life and learning skills while enabling creative expression and participation.