Apple Introduces New Tools to Learn Programming in Elementary School
As part of EU Programming Week, which runs through October 24, Apple has released a set of new programming tools for younger children.
Apple’s tools are aimed at elementary school students and teachers and include a new guide (“Anyone Can Code: Early Childhood Education”) and a new activity called “Inclusive App Design.” In addition, the Schoolwork app for iPad was expanded to include support for exit tickets. This allows teachers to easily create questions to quickly test during and after class whether students have understood the material, how they react to it and whether they have been engaged by it.
Anyone Can Code: Early Childhood Education is a new activity guide that complements Apple’s Everyone Can Code curriculum and the Swift Playgrounds app (Apple’s open-source programming language). “Through activities (often without a device), children learn important programming concepts by discussing, discovering and playing in math, art orientation, music and gym,” Apple said. For example, a lesson on programming commands is taught through dance moves. In addition, activity on functions requires students to discuss step-by-step calming techniques as appropriate for their social-emotional development.
The guide and the other new learning resources are all free to download. With the new activity ‘Design Inclusive App’, teachers can introduce their students to the world of programming and app development in one hour. The app design process helps students identify a problem they care about, come up with a creative solution, prototype, and write the necessary code. “It also helps students think critically about how to build inclusive apps for everyone. This prepares them to be the innovators of tomorrow,” says Apple.
Programming and designing apps are essential skills that help students to think critically and creatively. That always comes in handy whether they end up becoming app developers or not,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Education & Enterprise Marketing. “We now offer programming classes that cover the entire education system, from preschoolers to college students. As a result, they are challenged to design apps that are inclusive and accessible to everyone.’