October 5, 2021
Apple unveils new resources for elementary school coding and inclusive app design
New Anyone Can Code guide for young learners available today, along with the Designing Inclusive Apps activity and updates to the Schoolwork app
Apple is unveiling new resources for elementary school students and educators, including a new activity guide, Anyone Can Code Early Learners, which extends its coding curriculum resources from kindergarten through middle school. Educators can also try Apple’s new one-hour Inclusive App Design activity to introduce students to the world of coding and app development. Additionally, updates to the popular Schoolwork app include support for exit tickets and allow teachers to use the app on their personal devices.
“App coding and design are essential skills — these skills help students think critically and creatively, whether or not they become app developers,” said Susan Prescott, vice president of the education and corporate marketing at Apple. “Apple now offers coding resources for K-12 learners, challenging them to design amazing apps that are inclusive and accessible to users. Our resources and teacher support are designed to prepare students to become tomorrow’s innovators, whether they’re just starting out or ready to build their first apps.”
Apple instructional designers work alongside educators to support teaching and learning with Swift, Apple’s powerful open-source programming language used by professional developers to build the world’s most popular apps. As a new supplemental activity guide for Apple’s Anyone Can Code curriculum and the Swift Playgrounds app, Anyone Can Code for Early Learners helps educators and families introduce coding to students in their early years, when learners first develop computational thinking skills. Through engaging and often off-screen activities, learners in grades K-3 will discuss, discover, and play to build a foundation in basic coding concepts through subjects that include science, art, music and physical education. For example, a lesson on coding commands is taught through dance moves, and an activity on functions asks students to discuss calming techniques step-by-step, connecting with social-emotional learning.
“Learning the basics of coding at a young age helps students listen, communicate and think in new ways — and it improves student confidence,” said Leticia Batista, Ed.D., a bilingual kindergarten teacher at the school. McKinna Elementary in Oxnard, California. “Code puts students on an equal footing, regardless of the language they speak at home, and helps create a strong community of problem solvers. I look forward to introducing my students to Swift with the engaging, age-appropriate art and movement activities in Anyone Can Code Early Learners.
During European Code Week, October 9-24, and as part of Computer Science Education Week, December 6-12, Apple is encouraging teachers and their students to participate in an introductory activity to the design of inclusive applications. This new lesson from Apple helps teachers guide students through an hour-long session to turn their ideas into apps with inclusion and accessibility in mind. The application design process helps students identify problems that interest them, then plan, prototype, and code creative solutions. It helps students think critically about how to build apps that are inclusive for everyone and prepares them to be the innovators of tomorrow.
Additionally, new updates to the Schoolwork app add support for a survey tool popular with educators called exit tickets. Exit tickets are a quick way for teachers to check in with students during or after class, using easy-to-create questions to gauge student understanding, reactions, or engagement. New enhancements to the Schoolwork setup experience allow teachers to create Schoolwork accounts for students with little or no IT involvement.
Anyone Can Code Early Learners is available today as a free download for families and educators at apple.co/code-early. To celebrate European Code Week, the guide is launching in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish, with more languages to follow. The Inclusive App Design activity is now available in the Apple Teacher Learning Center. The Schoolwork app is available in beta through AppleSeed for Computing.
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