Students are back in school and coding activities are in full swing. Why are kids so excited about coding? Part of the appeal is the challenge and reward of seeing their code come to life. Students can study an obstacle course, plot a course using code blocks and run the robot through the course. Crash! The robot turns the wrong way! Students problem-solve and correct the code. Success! The robot completes the course! Along the way, students are developing logical thinking, problem-solving, team work, resilience, creativity and digital literacy.
All students should have opportunities to be involving in coding activities. One organization, CSForAll (Computer Science For All Students) is a resource to provide quality computer science education to every child in the United States. The CSForAll mission is, “To make high-quality computer science an integral part of the national experience of all K-12 students and teachers and to support student pathways to college and career success.”
Sphero and SAS have partnered to support accessible coding activities for educators working with students who are blind or low vision. With SAS CodeSnaps, students use printable code blocks to write their code and “snap” a picture using the CodeSnaps app. The app digitizes the code which the robot then runs – bringing the code to life! SAS has updated their printable code blocks for students who are visually impaired and provides two options for braille users:
Download the Tactile Braille Blocks here.
Download the Tactile Graphics Machine Braille Blocks here.
Note: One block is used for each step of the coding directions.
SAS is hosting a free, virtual webinar called “Collaborative Coding for ALL Students”.
A recording of the webinar will be available here one week after the webinar.
Four participants will be selected to receive a SAS CodeSnaps Kit for their schools. The kit includes two Sphero BOLT robots, three sets of SAS CodeSnaps braille Blocks, and a meter stick (total value is $320). Contest details here. Contest ends Nov. 5, 2021 at 5pm EDT.
SAS Accessibility Main Page
SAS Accessibility Webinar Listing
Want to learn more about creating accessible code blocks and CodeSnap activities for students who are blind or visually impaired? Here are related blog posts:
Challenge your students to use the Engineering Design Process to create their bot courses! Here are two blog posts about creating bot obstacle courses:
Note: Any type of robot can be used in these challenges.
Please share your experiences using CodeSnaps and Sphero and your challenge scenarios!
By Diane Brauner