Introduction of Swift Playground in the Classroom for Visually Impaired Students
Wednesday, March 20 5:45 PM-7:00 PM Location: Celebrity Ballroom 1&2
Presider: Monique Woodard, Drexel University, United States
Abstract: Despite national attention on computer science, there is a significant lack of educational resources for blind and visually impaired population to get introduced to learn to program. Recently, Apple worked with engineers, educators, and programmers to make Everyone Can Code curricula as accessible as possible, for an example, by integrating with VoiceOver, the most advanced screen-reading technology for people who are blind or low vision which can describe nearly everything happening on screen. We explore how Swift Playgrounds, as a part of Everyone Can Code curricula, can be used so students from kindergarten to college and beyond, especially with visual impairments, can learn and write code using Swift. For an example, Swift Playgrounds lets students learn from the basics of computer programming and computational thinking by using real code to solve puzzles and control characters with just a tap, to App Development with Swift to help aspiring app developers build their first iOS apps. This poster is going to, first, review survey results from teachers of students with visual impairments (TVI) to evaluate the effectiveness of Swift Playground, second, examine its setbacks (for an example, Swift Playgrounds is accessible, but is complex; many TVIs are not tech savvy and have no background with coding), and third, discuss various strategies and tools to overcome barriers and facilitate learning in the classroom.