Educational tool for children with visual impairments to learn how to code launched in UK
A new educational toy to help young students with vision impairment learn how to code has been launched on the UK market by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). Code Jumper was designed by Microsoft and developed by American Printing House (APH) as a tactile teaching aid that is inclusive of all children across the vision spectrum, and which will be sold internationally.
Code Jumper is formed of a series of pods, each of which contains a single line of code that represents a set of commands. They can be joined together in different sequences to create a programme. Children not only learn basic programming concepts, such as sequence, iteration, selection, and variables, but will also be encouraged to think computationally, such as solving the same challenge in multiple ways. Any teacher can facilitate Code Jumper lessons, even without prior computer science experience.
RNIB Director of Services, David Clarke said: “Code Jumper is a real game-changer in the accessible education field. With the advent of the digital age, many teaching aids for virtual skills – such as coding and web design – are based in a virtual space, so these subjects can be intangible and inaccessible to those who can’t see and feel it. Code Jumper is different. It makes virtual ideas tangible in a form that children can physically touch and move around.
“By helping children with a vision impairment learn how to code, this product is opening up coding and computer programming as a viable career path to thousands of young people who might otherwise not have considered it. RNIB is delighted to be a part of bringing Code Jumper to the UK and breaking down barriers to learning for children across the nation.”