Learners with special needs deserve an education that is tailored to their needs, effective, and abounding with authentic learning experiences. Learning how to code is one of those learning experiences, and, due to the increasing availability of easy-to-use and intuitive learning technologies such as the MakePad, learning such-like skills is certainly within reach. In fact, coding is becoming an integral part of many programs for students with special needs across the globe. Let’s look at three reasons why that is the case.
- Coding is Engaging and Adaptable
Coding is engaging and enjoyable for students with autism, ADHD and other special needs. The secret lies in rewarding “participation rather than completion”, and selecting the right activity for each learner. According to one article, some students already know a lot about computers, and coding gives them “more exposure to something they excel at”, whereas others are able to learn basic skills such as patience through problem-solving and sequencing by visualization. Indeed, coding is adaptable, and it’s this adaptability that makes the learning process engaging for students with special needs.
- Coding Teaches Valuable Social Skills
According to an article in the Huffingtion Post, “coding builds important life skills such as organization, higher order thinking, self-esteem, socialization and teamwork, among many others.” The article continues to relate how these skills don’t always come easy to kids with learning difficulties or special needs. Coding’s potential to teach social skills was also noted by the creators of the Hour of Code initiative. They suggest that pairing students up during coding activities is a “great way to teach collaboration and have students work together”. Certainly, if students engage with something that they enjoy, this will make them more willing and likely to socialize.
- Coding Can Help Students to Acquire Practical Skills
Reports indicate that in the US, by 2020, one million coding and computing jobs will go unfilled. One coding initiative aimed to prepare students with learning difficulties to fill some of these positions. Referring to this initiative, Dr Jason Bolton, Vice President of Children and Family Programs at the Exceptional Children’s Foundation, stated, “With coding recognized as a critical skill for the emerging workplace, quality coding education at the high school level provides advantages to students who aim to attend college or enter the workforce…” Indeed, coding can equip students with practical skills and hold out a number of employment options.
The MakePad an Invaluable Tool
It can be hard to keep a track of coding programs that are designed for students with special needs. Or perhaps you want to teach coding at home, or at school, earlier on in the piece. Or perhaps you want to give coding a “trial run” with your child.
Whatever the case may be, the MakePad can help you out. It is an intuitive and easy-to-use DIY tablet that facilitates the learning of code for all students, including those with special needs. We invite you to check it out here at www.makepi.com. We’re confident, that it will indeed engage your learners, teach them valuable social skills, and help them to acquire practical skills too.