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Apple aims to get kids into coding with free classes at its stores worldwide


Apple is offering free coding classes for students at Apple Stores around the world starting in December.

The tech giant has been offering the “Hour of Code” sessions annually for the last six years, giving youngsters the opportunity to brush up on their coding skills or learn new ones.

Kids’ Hour sessions, for example, will help aspiring programmers aged between 6 and 12 to explore coding with robots, while those aged 12 and above will have the chance to attend sessions teaching Swift, an Apple programming language that’s used by professional developers to build some of the world’s most popular apps.

To introduce Swift to young learners, Apple launched Swift Playgrounds, an interactive app for the iPad. Can’t make it to an Apple Store for the free coding lessons? Then simply download Swift Playgrounds for free and have a go at home.

As part of Computer Science Education Week, which runs from December 3 through 9, Apple has also created a special guide to help educators give coding sessions in their classrooms using Swift Playgrounds and other iPad apps. The guide includes a new Swift Coding Club kit containing all the necessary tools to launch a coding club.

“The new kit gives students aged 8 and up the ability to collaborate, prototype apps, and explore how coding can make a difference in their communities using fun activities from Swift Playgrounds and App Development with Swift,” Apple said in a release promoting its latest programming initiative.

Another course — App Development with Swift — is geared toward high school and college students and takes coding to a more advanced level while helping learners to work toward a certificate that recognizes their ability to code with Swift.

Apple says that today, more than 5,000 schools, community colleges, and technical colleges around the world are using its coding-related curriculum, which since 2016 has been helping students to learn programming skills to solve problems and prepare them for the workforce.

It’s really a no-brainer for Apple to offer these free coding classes. The program helps the stores give something back to the local community, and at the same time could spark a child’s interest in programming in a way that might lead to a lifelong career … creating apps for Apple’s various devices.

Registration is open now for the free classes, which run at all Apple Stores globally from December 1 through 14.

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Trevor Mogg
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