I wrote about Apple’s Hour of Code events a few weeks ago when they announced their expanded slate of classes in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. While coding class classes dominated the schedule during that week, including a couple geared specifically toward teachers, the Hour of Code How to Get Started with Coding and a couple of Kids Hour classes are still part of the running agenda at the Apple Store in Germantown, TN.
While I intended to take my kids to a couple of classes the weekend after I wrote that original article, the timing just didn’t work out. However, my daughter and I were able to finally able to make one yesterday. She had a friend staying over with us thanks to school being out for Christmas Break, so she came with us as well. Thanks to a heavy downpour, we ended up being the only ones in the class, which actually turned out great. I brought my current iPad Pro and my old one that my family now uses along with Swift Playgrounds loaded up in advance so the girls would be able to use them. Since there wasn’t anyone else, I was able to join in the class exercises using one of the store’s iPads.
Recently, Apple announced that it would be hosting Hour of Code sessions from December 4-10 at their Apple Retail Stores. This is the fifth year that the company has held such events in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. Each of the classes, which have various age and interest targets, focuses on the Swift programming language and uses the iPad and Swift Playgrounds as the tool. Attendees can bring their own iPad, or if they don’t have one, Apple will provide them one for use during class time.
During WWDC last month, Apple introduced an amazing new App that will be available to iPad owners running iOS 10 this fall. The App is called Swift Playgrounds, and it presents a unique way for users of every age and experience level to easily learn how to code in Apple’s Swift coding language at their own pace. iPad owners can follow through the lessons in natural progression, or jump around to specific topics depending on there interest level. In addition, every level can be repeated in any order at any time.
Even if you have no idea what coding is about, or have zero experience writing code of any kind, Swift Playgrounds makes the learning process extremely easy, intuitive and immediately rewarding. There will be additional Playgrounds/Lessons available after the official launch along side iOS 10. However, users who have access to either the Public or Developer betas will automatically have the app downloaded to their iPad and be able to immediately start exploring and mastering the concepts in this interactive programming Playground.