Apple has announced a new set of tools to help educators teach coding to students from grade school to college. In addition to enhancements to the Develop in Swift and Everyone Can Code curricula, Apple is also starting a new professional learning course for Develop in Swift, available to educators at no cost.
The course is designed to supplement the need for computer science educators in the US, and helps instructors of all skill levels build foundational knowledge to teach app development with Swift. In addition, with many institutions operating remotely, Apple is adding resources for educators and parents to help ensure they have the tools they need to help students learn and grow from anywhere.
“Apple has worked alongside educators for 40 years, and we’re especially proud to see how Develop in Swift and Everyone Can Code have been instrumental in helping teachers and students make an impact in their communities,” says Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Markets, Apps, and Services, in a press release. “We’ve seen community college students build food security apps for their campus and watched middle school educators host virtual coding clubs over summer break. As part of our commitment to help expand access to computer science education, we are thrilled to be adding a new professional learning course to help more educators, regardless of their experience, have the opportunity to learn coding and teach the next generation of developers and designers.”
Apple is enhancing its Develop in Swift and Everyone Can Code coding curricula. Develop in Swift is geared toward high school and higher education students, and teaches both Swift, an open-source programming language designed by Apple, and Xcode on Mac to new and experienced coders. Everyone Can Code introduces coding to students in grades 4 through 8, and uses puzzles and games to help teach the building blocks of Swift through the Swift Playgrounds app.
“The new Develop in Swift curriculum helps our students develop the technical and soft skills employers are looking for,” says Bill Skrzypczak, who teaches a two-year associate degree program in mobile app design and development at McHenry County College in Illinois. “I’m proud that 100 percent of our graduates have gained employment with an average salary of $70,000 to $100,000, including both our returning adult and traditional students.”
Prescott says the Develop in Swift curriculum is now completely redesigned to meet student learning styles, based on educator input continuously sourced by Apple. The new series includes four books: “Develop in Swift Explorations,” “Develop in Swift AP CS Principles,” and “Develop in Swift Fundamentals,” which are all live today, and “Develop in Swift Data Collections,” which will be available this fall. The curriculum is available free in Apple Books.
Apple is also releasing the next set of books in its Everyone Can Code curriculum today. “Everyone Can Code Adventures” is designed for students who have already completed “Everyone Can Code Puzzles” and offers more advanced opportunities to build with Swift code. Students will learn about important programming concepts used in app development as they work through more challenging lessons in Swift Playgrounds.
“Coding gives my middle school students the opportunity to build computational thinking skills and allows them to develop creative solutions for issues they care about most,” saysJessica Bibbs-Fox, who teaches eighth grade science and math at Kelly Elementary School in the Compton Unified School District in California. “Many of them are working through trauma in their communities, and these skills are essential in helping them grow into effective problem solvers both in and out of school.”
Bibbs-Fox has been using the Everyone Can Code curriculum with her students for three years, and has learned to code alongside them, with real-world results. She thinks the new Adventures series will allow schools to plan coding programs that span multiple grade levels.
“The Adventures content is built to help students understand the more advanced coding concepts,” Bibbs-Fox says. “Students can go further in Swift Playgrounds to build more experience with Swift coding, which will really help in their transition to Xcode and the Develop in Swift curriculum.”
The “Everyone Can Code Adventures” student and teacher guides are now available for free in Apple Books.
The Computer Science Teachers Association notes that fewer than 50% of all American high schools offer computer science classes and many college students aren’t able to get into the computer science courses needed to graduate, partly due to an ongoing shortage of educators available to instruct them. In an effort to help, Apple will begin offering a new, free online professional learning course for educators.
Taught by Apple experts, the course will help instructors with all levels of ability acquire the skills they need to teach Swift and Xcode, making this an ideal introductory course for teaching the Develop in Swift curriculum. Interested educators can sign up today to participate in the course, which will be available July 13 through the Canvas Learning Management System.
To support parents with kids learning to code at home, Apple is adding a new guide to its set of remote learning resources. “A Quick Start to Code” is now available and features 10 coding challenges designed for learners ages 10 and up, on iPad or Mac. Additional resources are available on Apple’s new Learning from Home website, launched this spring, where educators and parents can access on-demand videos and virtual conferences on remote learning, and schedule free one-on-one virtual coaching sessions, all hosted by educators at Apple. New videos are being added all the time as part of the Apple Education Learning Series — including videos about using Apple’s industry-leading accessibility features.
In 2016, Apple launched Everyone Can Code, a comprehensive program and curriculum to help students of all abilities, from kindergarten to college, learn coding to solve problems and prepare them for the workforce. Develop in Swift was released in 2019, and today more than 9,000 K-12 and higher education institutions worldwide are using the Everyone Can Code and Develop in Swift curricula from Apple.