Involving everyone: Using the “Literacy from Scratch” project…

…to develop the Computing and presentation skills of FE students with learning difficulties and disabilities (LLDD students), aged 18 to 24 years, and of their Learning Assistants

Lawrence Williams, Lloyd Mead, Beth Mead

Abstract
“Literacy from Scratch” is an international classroom project designed to develop computer coding skills (now a part of the new “Computing” curriculum in England) alongside literacy development, using the MIT visual coding language, Scratch. This project has now been ex-tended upwards from ages 5 to 14, to include trainee teachers at Brunel University London, as well as LLDD students, aged 18 to 24 years, at an FE College in Lambeth, south London. The paper explores the potential for this latter, largely under-represented, group of students to improve their communication skills, while learning elementary coding. In the most recent phase of the project (Spring 2017), we have also included a small-scale study comparing PowerPoint and Scratch as tools for supporting the presentation of these students’ ideas, and their literacy development. Classroom support staff, (called Learning Assistants, or LAs, in England) were also encouraged to develop their teaching and learning skills throughout this project.

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