Language, Technology, and Media at the Deaf Education Center

During December 9-13, Mill Neck students and staff members participated in Hour of Code A group of students participating at the Hour of Code — a global initiative during International Computer Science Week. The goal was for everyone to participate in one hour of coding, with a collective goal of 200 hours. Coding, like language, is a process of learning the building blocks of a program, putting the blocks together, learning syntax, and developing fluency and effectiveness. This skill, across a variety of languages and modalities, is critical for navigating the social and economic systems of the world. The Deaf Education Center was very excited to have this week of learning and navigating together as a community!
In addition to a gallery display of coding resources in the DEC lobby, several staff members provided training after school in HTML, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication Systems), and Cued Speech. Our schedule for the week included assemblies, workshops and performances by the National Technical Institute of the Deaf (NTID) based STEM performing arts group, Sunshine 2.0, and a variety of training opportunities and resources for staff members. The NTID based theatre group Sunshine 2.0 visited Mill Neck for three days of performances and workshops as part of the ASL Slam Junior program. Students and staff members learned about STEM, built confidence on the stage, and developed visual vernacular storytelling skills.
With a total of 332 hours of coding, we beat our goal by more than 100 hours! All of these activities fostered a sense of community and allowed our students and staff members to develop multi-modal communication skills! Coding helps students with language skills by mastering the building blocks of a communication system—and also allows them to develop skills in computer science and programming that are critical to economic and social needs in a 21st century world. We are so proud of our students and staff members for their tremendous achievements during Hour of Code week!