Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Use Swift Playgrounds Resources with any Coding Program

Apple's  Swift Playgrounds app and their "Everyone Can Code" initiative is a great program for learning the coding language that powers iOS apps. Not only is there a puzzle-based app an immersive learning experience, there are numerous teacher resources in both iBooks and iTunes U. For iBooks there are three teacher guides: Level 1 and 2, Level 3, and App Development.

Now, the Swift Playgrounds program might not be a fit for every classroom because it has to be done on an iPad running iOS 10 and be one of the following generations:  iPad Air, iPad mini 2 or newer, or any size iPad Pro. I work out of four elementary schools and only one has iPads that can run the app.

Even though I use other others like studio.code.org and Google CS-First in my other buildings, there are still a lot of great resources that Apple offers that I use as demonstration even when our activities are Scratch-based. Fellow Apple Distinguished Educator Gabriella Meyers hosts a number of videos within the iTunes U course that explain concepts like algorithms and functions but don't reference Swift specifically. I have found them to be great, concise explanations my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders really understand. Sometime you just need someone else to explain it.

So, it doesn't matter what coding instructions you are using. Take a look inside of what Apple offers for Swift Playgrounds. You might find a lot that is useful.

[caption id="attachment_1428" align="aligncenter" width="452"]Apple Distinguished Educator Gabriella Meyers explains functions in an iTunes U course. Apple Distinguished Educator Gabriella Meyers explains functions in an iTunes U course.[/caption]

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