Quorum: An Accessible Programming Language (3-minute version)

Quorum: An Accessible Programming Language (3-minute version)


>>Narrator: Technology jobs
are in demand and an understanding of
computing and coding are important for anyone
pursuing these opportunities. But learning programming languages
can be difficult for any new student including some students
with disabilities. That’s why Quorum
was created.>>Andreas Stefik: My name
is Andreas Stefik. I’m an assistant professor
of computer science at the University of Nevada,
Las Vegas. I invented the Quorum
programming language. It was originally designed
to try to help blind or visually impaired students
learn to program more easily. At the time a lot of computer science
was moving toward very visual content and that in general makes
a lot of sense, however, not if you’re blind.>>Richard Ladner: I’m
Richard Ladner, professor in computer science and engineering
at the University of Washington. Children who are blind who can’t see
can actually program in Quorum. If you look at almost all the tools
that are out there for children, they’re all super visual
and this one is visual and auditory so that makes it much better
for everybody.>>Narrator: Quorum’s features
are universally designed, making it an easier language
to learn in general.>>Andreas: The language is simpler
which impacts people with learning disabilities. For example, if I was to tell the computer
to do something over and over again in a language like Java I would say
“for (int i=0; i>Richard: I find personally
reading Quorum programs a lot easier than reading
C programs or Java programs. Most languages after
every single line you have to put a semicolon. Why you have to put a semicolon,
it seems to be just tradition. It doesn’t need to be there
and Quorum has no semicolons.>>Narrator: Quorum is evidence-based,
using the results of scientific experiments to determine how to make
the language easier to use.>>Andreas: Quorum provides
two primary benefits. One is everything is free,
and then number two, at the end of the day
all of the materials that we use and that we give to people
are vetted both by teachers and students and are vetted in experiments
through the scientific method.

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