If you have a son or daughter who loves the idea of creating cutting-edge apps, games and experiences for Apple’s iOS platform, then say hello to the company’s Swift Playgrounds iPad app, and trust us when we say your kids will love it.
We’ve seen numerous initiatives over the years that have been put in place to try and get kids to love and excel at programming from an early age, but with Swift Playgrounds, Apple is looking to harness the power of the iPad to teach kids how to code using Apple’s Swift programming language, used to build apps for iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS.
Apple originally announced the Swift Playgrounds initiative during the keynote speech of this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference back in June. Since then, developers running pre-release versions of iOS 10 on an iPad have had access to the gorgeous app. But of course, developers already know how to develop and how to write code, with the app really only being offered to them as part of beta seeds to get an early indication of what’s to come.
The app itself is aimed at kids with absolutely no Swift or coding knowledge whatsoever, and uses a stunning and highly visual app to teach kids how to write real Swift code that solves problems on the display.
One of the real benefits of the Swift Playgrounds app – aide from the fact that it’s built around a stunning environment – is that it encourages the learning of Swift in a non-linear format. Rather than forcing kids to follow a strict set of processes like many other coding initiatives do, Swift Playgrounds essentially lets the child jump ahead if they want to in order to solve more appealing tasks. The child is also rewarded by the app for solving the problems at hand, but is given higher praise for writing well-structured and optimized code.
Last week’s September 7 event had a focus on Apple’s educational commitments, where the company outlined the ConnectED grant that has seen approximately 50,000 iPads distributed to school kids across the United States. The company has also announced that more than 100 schools and districts in the U.S., Europe and Africa will be teaching directly using the Swift Playgrounds experience.
Swift Playgrounds is available to download right now for free from the App Store.
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