Tag Archives: Teaching

Project Torino – inclusive learning for visually impaired children…

 Building blocks of code for young leaners – code creation in new ways from Microsoft

 

Microsoft researchers, at their Cambridge UK facilities, are in the midst of developing a new set of coding tools which will support children with additional sight needs in exploring the creation of code, commands and programs.

Torino is a physical programming language, which will, it is hoped, enable children with visual impairments, to take part and contribute in coding classes. Sharing the world of code and developing an understanding of the structure of programmed technology with their peers.

It is hoped that the project, when fully realised can be useful to other cohorts of learners, from adults to those who can be constrained by dyslexia and autism, to be able to access careers as computer scientists or software engineers.

The World Health Organization estimates that 285 million people worldwide are blind or visually impaired, and the vast majority of those people live in low-income settings. In the United Kingdom alone, the Royal National Institute of Blind People says only one in four working age adults who are blind or partially sighted are doing paid work.

Source:  blogs.microsoft.com  Accessed – 28.03.2017

Recruiting young people and educators for the project:

The Project Torino Beta – Expression of Interest page is still live on the web. You can subscribe to receive more detailed information from Microsoft and Project Torino when the beta evaluation goes live.

The process is available  to educators and parents in the UK. See more here.

Inclusion at the heart of technology:

Reading the project detail, it is clear that inclusion for all learners lies at the heart of the project. The research and design work, initially geared towards children in the seven to eleven age group, has already created a curriculum for teachers to be able to use Project Torino. (No prior coding skills are needed…Ed.)

An ‘app’ has also been created to enable children, once having mastered their physical language coding skills, to move on into text based code, wherever appropriate.

Great news from Microsoft Research in Cambridge. We shall follow the project with interest.

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Licensed to create?

This interesting new RSA Animate looks at a revolution that is needed in teacher development. Work consigns teachers, it argues, to becoming victims who are trapped by the systems they operate within.

The goal should be to make change-makers, who are authors of their own pedagogy.

The essay collection which supports the argument posits that schools are conditioned by a command and control culture, which ignores creativity in delivery. The teacher, it argues, strives to educate whilst coping with a top down culture of compliance.

Creative Education Reports, ov. 2014
Get the essays here…

To best serve learners, and the professional development needs of teachers, there should be a methodology available that echoes and supports the research which shows students, who have the best teachers, can learn at twice the rate of other students.

This accompanying essays, Licensed to Create: Ten essays on improving teacher quality is edited by Joe Hallgarten, Louise Bamfield and Kenny McCarthy.

The final essay from the collection is by Tristram Hunt, Shadow Secretary of State for Education. In the introduction to The Rationale for Revalidation: a movement to transform teaching, Hunt states…

The teaching profession is changing. One year into this job there are few things of which I am more certain. If this collection of essays achieves nothing else then it will be to highlight how the energy unleashed by this cultural shift has the potential to become a force for far-reaching education reform.

Whether you are just beginning your professional teaching career, ending it or are just passionate about education…there is much to think about in this RSA report.


 

To echo the perceptive analysis in this collection of essays, and to underscore how the change in pedagogy, the re-processing of education in general for the benefit of future generations is an ongoing project. We re-looked at Ken Robinson’s TED Talk How to Escape Education’s Death Valley.

Robinson, speaking and living in the USA, argues for change to support young people who drop out of school, and those who remain it, but who stay disengaged from the education process.

This is not a new message from Ken Robinson, but it is witty and discursive as well as telling, placing the young person at the centre of change in education.

A nice counterpoint to, and contextualision of, the thought processes and ideas revealed in our RSA essay collection above.

(Narrative updated 15:05 / 26.11.2014)

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