October 5, 2021
Apple unveils new resources for elementary school coding and inclusive app design
New Everyone Can Code guide for young learners available today, as well as Inclusive App Design activity and Schoolwork app updates
Apple is unveiling new resources for elementary students and educators, including a new activity guide, Anyone Can Code Early Learners, which expands its coding program resources from kindergarten through college. Teachers can also try Apple’s new one-hour inclusive app design activity to introduce students to the world of coding and app development. Additionally, updates to the popular Schoolwork app include support for exit tickets and allow educators to use the app on their personal devices.
“Coding and application design are essential skills. These skills help students think critically and creatively whether or not they become app developers, ”said Susan Prescott, vice president of education and corporate marketing, Apple. “Apple now offers coding resources for kindergarten through college learners, and challenges them to design amazing apps that are inclusive and accessible to users. Our resources and support for teachers are designed to prepare students to be the innovators of tomorrow, whether they’re just getting started or ready to build their first apps.
Apple instructional designers work alongside educators to support teaching and learning with Swift, Apple’s powerful open-source programming language used by professional developers to build the world’s most popular apps. As a new add-on activity guide for Apple’s Anyone Can Code program and the Swift Playgrounds app, Everyone Can Code Early Learners helps educators and families introduce coding to students in their early days. years, when learners first develop computational thinking skills. Through engaging and often off-screen activities, K-3 learners will discuss, discover and play to lay the foundations of basic coding concepts through subjects that include science, art, music and physical education. For example, a lesson on command coding is taught through dance movements, and a functions activity asks students to discuss step-by-step calming techniques related to social and emotional learning.
“Learning the basics of coding at a young age helps students listen, communicate and think in new ways – and it improves student confidence,” said Leticia Batista, Ed.D., bilingual kindergarten teacher at the McKinna Elementary School in Oxnard, California. “The code puts students on an equal footing, no matter what language they speak at home, and helps build a strong community of problem solvers. I look forward to introducing Swift to my students with the engaging and age-appropriate art and movement activities in Everyone Can Code Early Learners.
During European Code Week, October 9-24, and Computer Science Education Week, December 6-12, Apple encourages teachers and their students to participate in an introductory design activity inclusive applications. This new lesson from Apple helps educators guide students through a one-hour session to turn ideas into apps with inclusion and accessibility in mind. The application design process helps students identify problems of interest to them, and then plan, prototype, and code creative solutions. It helps students to think critically about how to create inclusive apps for all and prepares them to be the innovators of tomorrow.
Additionally, new updates coming to the Schoolwork app add support for a survey tool popular with educators called exit tickets. Exit tickets are a quick way for teachers to check in with students during or after class, using easy-to-create questions to gauge student understanding, reaction or engagement. New enhancements to the homework setup experience give teachers the ability to create homework accounts for students with little to no IT involvement.
Anyone Can Code Early Learners is available today as a free download for families and educators at apple.co/code-early. To celebrate Europe Code Week, the guide is launched in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish, with more languages to follow. The Inclusive App Design activity is available now in the Apple Teacher Training Center. The Schoolwork app is available in beta through AppleSeed for IT.
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