Apple to show off new Swift Playgrounds coding app at 2016 Hour of Code

Mark Coppock
Digital Trends
apple swift playgrounds hour of code
apple swift playgrounds hour of code

Every year, Code.org hosts Hour of Code, a global initiative aimed at teaching the basics of computer programming to students. Part of the annual Computer Science Education Week, Hour of Code is sponsored by a number of technology companies that use their own products and services to help get students excited about coding.

Apple has participated in Hour of Code since its inception in 2013, and this year the company is ramping up its involvement in the event. Specifically, Apple is introducing its Swift programming language to young coders, and developing tools for educators to use in their environments beyond just the Hour of Code event itself.

More: Microsoft’s Minecraft to headline 2016 Hour of Code

Swift Playgrounds is a new free app for Apple’s iPad, which offers an interactive and entertaining interface to entice beginning programmers to start working with the company’s Swift programming language. As part of Hour of Code, Apple will host events at Apple locations introducing Swift Playgrounds to participants.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, described the new offering: “Coding is just like any language, the earlier you’re exposed the more successful you’ll be. Whether at an Apple Store, in a classroom, or at home with an iPad, Swift Playgrounds brings real coding concepts to life and empowers the next generation with the skills they need to express their creativity.”

A challenge in Swift Playgrounds designed specifically for Hour of Code is aimed at making it easy to create a one-hour coding activity. In addition, Learn to Code is a set of three lessons with a companion teacher guide designed to help use the iPad to build coding skills.

Beyond the in-store workshops, Apple will present tools that will help educators take Hour of Code activities and benefits back to their schools and communities. Free facilitator guides with lessons, group activities, and more will be available. The company’s Apple Teacher self-paced learning program will be on display, with new resources, badging, and recognition available for Swift Playgrounds.

Hour of Code will be featured at Apple Stores December 5-11. Registration is now open at all 487 Apple Store locations for Hour of Code workshops.