A Tangible Block Editor for the Scratch Programming Language

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Publication: CHI 2021, ACM, Yokohama, Japan (2021)

We describe a tangible block editorfor the educational programming language Scratch thatallows blind and visually impaired (BVI) students to learn computer programming concepts alongside their sighted peers in mainstream classrooms. In this late breaking work, we provide adescription of the design that incorporates many of the key elements of the Scratch visual code editor that promote engagement and lower hurdles to programming. The environment allows a BVI student to work collaboratively with other BVI and sighted students, being accessible to all. Key elements of the design include: the use of magnets and local shape to ensure only blocks with valid syntaxcan be connected, the allowance of nested expressions through expansion of code structures with telescoping tubing, and a channel grid work surface that provides structure to aid students working with the much narrower field of view of haptics, as compared to vision.

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