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Teaching Programming Skills to Blind and Visually Impaired Learners

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems book series (LNNS,volume 349)

Abstract

Learning to program is a challenging process for children with visual impairment (VI). Despite the development of technology, there are still several social and technical barriers that each learner with VI has to overcome. Indeed, many programming environments use a screen reader, thus, making them inaccessible for students with VI. In this work, we aimed to examine and discuss practical issues, as well as suggest potential alternatives options for teaching programming to children with VI. For this purpose, we conducted a review of literature published up to March 2021. We have highlighted that the use of block-based, language-based, and auditory languages seems to be more appropriate. Moreover, special attention should be given to the inability of learners with VI to understand the overall structure of a code. Furthermore, we present the first from a series of applications under development by our team. Finally, we provided evidence that supports the use of tangible-based applications, robots, and microcontrollers that could help the programming learning process. The main outcome of our review is that further research is needed to examine and develop new and more effective strategies to introduce children with VI to the world of programming.

Keywords

  • Visually impaired
  • Programming skills
  • Computational thinking
  • Educational robots
  • Mobile game-based learning

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Psycharis, S., Theodorou, P., Spanidis, Y., Kydonakis, P. (2022). Teaching Programming Skills to Blind and Visually Impaired Learners. In: Guralnick, D., Auer, M.E., Poce, A. (eds) Innovations in Learning and Technology for the Workplace and Higher Education. TLIC 2021. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 349. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-90677-1_26

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