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With Project Torino, Microsoft creates a physical programming language inclusive of visually impaired children © Blog Microsoft Vision

These days, most kids get their first introduction to coding through simplified tools that let them drag and drop blocks of commands, creating programs that can do things like navigate mazes or speed through space.

A team of Microsoft researchers and designers in the company’s Cambridge, UK, lab is taking that concept one step further. The team has created what they are calling a physical programming language. It’s a way for kids to physically create code by connecting pods together to build programs.

The system, called Project Torino, is designed to make sure that kids who have visual impairments or other challenges can participate in coding classes along with all their classmates. But Cecily Morrison, one of the researchers working on the project, is hoping the system also will be appealing and useful for all learners, regardless of whether they have visual impairments or other challenges.

“One of our key design principles was inclusion. We didn’t want to isolate these kids again,” she said. “The idea was to create something that a whole mainstream class could use, and they could use together.”

The ultimate goal is even more ambitious: To get more kids with visual impairments and other challenges, such as dyslexia or autism, on the path to becoming software engineers and computer scientists.

“It’s clear that there’s a huge opportunity in professional computing jobs,” Morrison said. “This is a great career for a lot of kids who might have difficulty accessing other careers.”

A project like this can serve two goals: Technology companies say they are struggling with a “digital skills gap” that is leaving them without enough engineers and coders to meet their needs, and experts say it can be difficult for visually impaired people to find meaningful, accessible career paths.

Read more at https://blogs.microsoft.com/next/2017/03/15/project-torino-microsoft-creates-physical-programming-language-inclusive-visually-impaired-children/#V5x0VWS6bTeIv1ZG.99

Et lisez bien dans cet article ceci

“I see this project a little bit like that,” he said. “It brings to life, in a 21st century way, that kind of ability to teach children these new concepts.”

From left, Louisa Turtill, 9, and Khadijah Pinto Atkin, also 9, use Project Torino. The physical programming language is being designed with the help of children to make sure it is inclusive of their needs. Photo by Jonathan Banks.

image: https://mscorpmedia.azureedge.net/mscorpmedia/2017/03/Microsoft-5792-forpost.jpg

From left, Louisa Turtill, 9, and Khadijah Pinto Atkin, also 9, use Project Torino. The physical programming language is being designed with the help of children to make sure it is inclusive of their needs. Photo by Jonathan Banks.

The Microsoft team has spent the last year or so testing the system with a small group of about a dozen students. Nicolas Villar, a senior researcher in the UK lab who was instrumental in designing Project Torino, said one of the unexpected pleasures of the project is the opportunity to work with kids who have a very different way of experiencing the world.

For example, he said, the team originally made the pods all white, until the kids with limited vision told them that more colors would help them. And although in electronics there’s often a push to make things as small as possible, with this project they found the kids were more engaged when the pods were larger, in part because two kids working together would often both physically hold the pod and touch hands as part of that teamwork.

 

Un blog pour l’avenir


Non au futur (prévision froide). Oui à l'avenir (action humaine). Dixit le Petit Prince, "l'avenir, tu n'as pas à le prévoir, tu dois te le permettre".

Ce blog est dédié aux idées d'avenir positives, aux changements. La prospective est à la fois une science de synthèse pluridisciplinaire et un art pour défricher de nouveaux territoires, repérer des courants forces, explorer des imaginaires...

C'est surtout un outil Eureka pour inventer de nouveaux produits et services, sublimer ou mythifier une marque et ses produits, créer la valeur de la valeur....

Vive l'avenir, car ce qui est génial, c'est que tout commence et que tout est possible !

Maryline

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