Apple announced today an expansion of its program designed to get more students coding. The company says it has redesigned the "Everyone Can Code" curriculum with a focus on introducing more elementary and middle school students to coding, while also adding more resources for teachers, a new student guide, and refreshed Swift Coding Club materials. It's also adding thousands of free coding sessions at Apple Stores in December, to celebrate Computer Science Education Week.
The updated curriculum is meant to make coding more approachable, Apple explains, by offering activities that are more closely connected to the students' everyday lives. It also includes a new guide to Swift Playgrounds called Everyone Can Code Puzzles, where students can experiment with concepts and apply their understanding across over 40 hours of activities.
The guide comes with a teacher companion, which includes the solutions, assessment strategies, accessibility resources, and more.
The curriculum is also now optimized for VoiceOver, includes closed-captioned videos, and videos in American Sign Language.
In another expansion, Apple has integrated its Everyone Can Create project guides into the new curriculum. Launched last year on Apple Books, Everyone Can Create has served to get teachers to integrate things like drawing, music, filmmaking and photography into their classroom, by way of Apple technology.
Related this news, Apple says it's increasing the number of Today at Apple coding sessions from December 1 through 15, 2019 in order to celebrate Computer Science Education Week.
The free, interactive sessions are meant to inspire young coders with block-based coding using robots, while more advanced coders use Swift Playgrounds to learn coding concepts or to code an AR project.
Some stores will also offer preschool-aged coding sessions in the new Coding Lab with Helpsters, the little monsters who star in the new Apple TV+ show, from the makers of Sesame Street. Other sessions will involve Apple Distinguished Educators, Apple Entrepreneur Camp innovators, developers, and artists. A Develop in Swift curriculum will continue to be available for high school and college students, Apple noted.
And for the seventh consecutive year, Apple will support the Hour of Code with a new Hour of Code Facilitator Guide that will help teachers and parents host sessions using Swift Playgrounds.