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Disguised Programming as a Teaching Aid for Students with Special Needs

By Paulo C. M. Guerreiro and Vítor M. M. Vieira


This paper describes a project that uses constructionist technologies in the development of a new approach for teaching basic programming skills with the Logo language for students with special needs. The necessity and motivation of the learning process has been studied, discussed, and stimulated for a long time. But it has normally been directed to “normal ” children, while neglecting those with special learning needs. Meanwhile, one finds a growing number of students with special educational needs. Schools are now better equipped (computer wise) than ever before, but are not taking advantage of these equipments to better teach their students. Our aim with this research project is to motivate and teach basic programming skills for students with learning difficulties. Under this context, we compare two different approaches for reaching the proposed goal, one based on LEGO’s Robotics Invention System v2.0 (RIS) and another based on an application developed on purpose by ourselves. Keeping in mind that we’re searching for a tool that children can use, even those with learning disabilities, we need an application that is alluring and easy to use. LEGO’s Robotics Inventio

Year: 2009
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