THE POTENTIAL OF SCRATCH AS AN EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT FOR TEACHING STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
University of Ruse (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:1. Objectives of the paper
The paper describes how Scratch could be used as a tool to enhance the teaching-learning process across the curriculum for students with and without special educational needs. It presents the potential of the building-block visual programming environment to support digital storytelling across different subjects and for achieving learning outcomes as well as for the development of their computational thinking skills. The methodology can be used in any school across all abilities and adapted to the individual needs of the students.
2. Introduction - special educational needs and digital storytelling in education
One of the most general aims is the complex health of the child with special educational needs (SEN), its full integration, as far as possible, that contributes to the well-being of the community and its personal happiness. The creative approach to the formation of a developing educational and creative environment for children with special educational needs is fundamental to their adaptation and socialization, to their full and independent way of life. Analysis of the cognitive and creative functioning of the person increases the probability of building skills to include realistic, evidence-based assessments of situations and to reduce the subjective experience of negative emotion. These skills include identifying cognitive distortions, changing beliefs related to the world and others, and changing behavioral coping strategies.
3. Methodology for learning through digital storytelling
The methodology could be useful for teachers who wish to use Scratch as a tool for project-based learning across different subjects and who wish to broaden their strategies for teaching and integrating technology in the educational process. Students' learning is in focus and focuses on basic knowledge and on deepening it to enable all students to develop at their own pace.
The methodology for learning through digital storytelling depends on the specificity of the learning disciplines and the age of the learners. The scientific and cognitive activity of the young students (3rd and 4th grade) at the earliest stages takes the form of performing reproductive activities, as this is the period in which they develop their cognitive skills. They also should learn and explore the new learning environment Scratch.
3.1. Project 1 - subject: Environment, 1st grade
The subject is aimed at enriching the sensory-cognitive experience of children and mastering integrated knowledge and skills related to the child's natural and social environment. In addition, it contributes to the realization of developmental goals of the student, related to the formation of key cognitive, practical and communicative skills and to his spiritual and moral strengthening. With the help of a complex of discovery activities for observation, research, classification, etc., first-graders learn to understand themselves and the world around them.
3.2. Project 2 – subject: Human and society, 3rd grade
3.3. Project 3 – subject: Bulgarian language, 2nd grade
4. Summary and related outcomes
The methodology could be used in any school across all abilities and adapted to the individual needs of the students. It offers the foundations for learning and understanding the concepts of digital storytelling designing and planning. Students who took part in the study are using their new skills to interact positively with each other and to solve interdisciplinary problems.
Keywords: Scratch, education, digital storytelling, special educational needs.