08/02/2021

Although the About Me project in Scratch was great, there was one thing that I wondered about as I was working on this assignment. How would students with disabilities or special needs be able to participate and do this type of project. For students who are blind and visually impaired for example, I wondered how would they be able use this program. I was curious to know if there could either be accommodations to the students or adjustments made to the program where they could use brail for instance to participate. Students who are deaf or hearing impaired might not be able to hear the sounds of certain things in the program. I wondered what else besides the visuals of the word being displayed in a cloud bubble when clicked on or pressed could be done.  For students who might not be able to hold or use a computer physically, how would they be able to use the program. Because the program is predominately hands on, students with both disabilities and special needs might have a hard time using this program. Even students that are emotionally disturbed for example, might get triggered by something or act out of frustration by not being able keep up with the tasks. Students that have attention deficit disorder for example might not be able to stay focused for a long period of time and miss all of the important steps for each task and be unable to keep up. Last but not least, I also wondered about incoming students that are new language learners. Students who don’t know the language will certainly have a hard time using this program. I wondered if there was a way students could either use closed captioned to hear  the correct pronunciation and spelling of the words in tutorial videos for instance. Overall the program is great for teachers to use with their students. I just wondered how it could be modified to accommodate the need for students with special needs or disabilities.

A block is a set of solid cubes. One challenge that I can anticipate is that students with disabilities and special needs might have a hard time learning the program. They might need special accommodations or alternative tasks in order to participate and complete some of the tasks.

The use and repeat of fewer blocks made my band sound more authentic and give it a unique professional sound. I used the audio record sound feature to have a customized audio sound.

If I were to create this story by myself, it would not have turned out the same way at all. Everyone has different creative ideas. So if I did it entirely alone, it wouldn’t have came out as good as it did. The drop the mic moment helps students understand how remixing open source works online by giving them the platform to edit and continue where someone previously left off.

I used cloning in my scratch program to make something fun, cool, and creative. Cloning is different from making multiple sprites because when you’re cloning you’re only using one sprite as opposed to using multiple sprites.

I incoroported an orange circle and purple square into the program by going to sprite 1 and sprite 2. The idea came from my professor to use both platforms and design something unique and creative Paint scratch editior is a program designed to do motion sound or digital effects with images

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Marina
August 18, 2021 9:22 pm

Dear Nile: 

I am encouraged by your post, “Sometimes…I Wonder About Scratch,” because you shared essential questions about how to ensure accessibility for all learners. Recently, I have been researching about Universal Design and how to build a learning environment that is welcoming, flexible, and supportive of learner variability. As educators learn more about the significance of coding and the role that it plays within academics, it is critical to consider how they can offer computer science experiences that are designed with all learners in mind. 

One question you wrote that stands out for me is: “How would students with disabilities or special needs be able to participate and do this type of project.” This is necessary to wonder about for all students in our classrooms because students have jagged learning profiles which consist of strengths and areas of need. This means that educators need to consider how to ensure that all learners will be able to gain access to the coding experience. We need to consider how to highlight their talents and identify where struggles may arise. Identifying where the struggles may arise offers educators an opportunity to think about questions such as “How can I make this a meaningful experience where all students can experience success?
 
 The blog post,  Tech Tools and Tips For Teaching Coding to Students With Learning Disabilities, discusses the concept behind a jagged profile and Universal Design. Additionally, the author of the blog states, “Designing for accessibility doesn’t just help students with disabilities; it can also have big benefits for all students, according to a report from Education Week. What we offer to one student may have unexpected advantages and supports for others. This is another reason educators need to mindfully plan their tasks, projects, and experiences and make supports available to all learners. 

Have you seen this online seminar series from AccessCSforAll, Accessible Computer Science: Teacher to Teacher? I thought you might be interested in this because you may find some solutions to your wonderings on how to provide coding experiences to students with disabilities. For example, the online seminar titled “Teaching CS to Blind and Visually Impaired Students,” discusses a variety of approaches and programs that the presenter, Gina Fugate, uses with her students who are blind and visually impaired. She does not mention Scratch. However, she focuses on other coding experiences that are helping her students to experience success with coding and assistive technology which allows for greater participation. I am eager to engage in the other webinars because I am confident that the techniques, strategies, and methods offered will help all educators to design responsive coding experiences that address the strengths and areas of need for all students. 

Thanks for your writing and sharing your ideas

Marina

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth Voices. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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