Great news: a new Robotics Elective to help students learn computer coding will start in September at the NuView Academy of New Jersey . Teachers will also be hosting “Running Robots: Computer Coding & Special Education” - an Action Lab at the New Jersey School Boards Association’s 2016 Workshop in Atlantic City in October.
Perhaps most unique is that these programs are geared toward special needs students.
“Few if any schools offer special needs students an opportunity to gain employable computer coding skills...” said ESCNJ Superintendent Mark J. Finkelstein.
The program hopes to combine robotics with its current hybrid learning techniques to expose students to cutting-edge robotics skills at an early age, and improve their chances of employment in the field of technology. Using NAO, teachers will be adding an approachable element to the elective curriculum, and offer and more engaging process to learn coding skills. With NAO, students get to see what their coding does immediately, and be able to adjust in real-time.
“Employers need more people with computer coding skills, and the Robotics Elective will help students become more employable,” said Mr. Molenaar.
The ESCNJ, (formerly the Middlesex Regional Educational Services Commission), offers services statewide to student’s ages 3 to 21 with autism, multiple disabilities, and at risk behaviors. They hope to see success with the addition of NAO and this new elective within the 2016-2017 school year, so the program can spread across the US in following years.