Apple Today I opened the registry for thousands of free "Hour of Code" sessions that are held in its Apple Store stores worldwide from December 1 to 14. Sessions are one of several programs in which the company has focused on helping more people learn to code in and out of the classroom.
For the sixth year, Apple says to conduct daily sessions of the Hour of the Code through "Today at Apple." These will take place during the first two weeks of December and will focus on the teaching of fundamental concepts of aspiring coders. For ages 6 to 12, the sessions will include coding with robots, while attendees 12 and older will use the Swift Playgrounds educational application to learn the basic concepts of coding.
Apple also presented a new material for teachers who participate in Computer Education Week, the educational campaign that took place in early December and which aims to present computer science and coding in K to 12 students.
The company created a Code Hour Facilitator Guide that helps educators organize sessions where students learn to use Swift Playgrounds along with other iPad applications.
In connection with this, Apple also introduced a new Swift encoding. Club kit for teachers and students that provides the necessary materials so they can start their own coding clubs at school.
This kit is designed for students 8 years and older and see them collaborating, creating prototypes and learning how to code an application.
Apple said the Swift Playgrounds educational application, launched just over two years ago, is available in 15 languages, including English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Japanese. The application has been extended since its launch to include more courses, such as those for programming toy robots or creating applications that use AR, for example.
Now, Apple is also turning the application domain into an AP (Advanced Placement) high school course.
The company says it will launch a free study program and curriculum of the Principle of AP Computer Science for the next school year, which will give students the opportunity to obtain AP credits to learn to code in Swift. Students may also take a certification exam (Application Development with Swift Level 1) after completing the class. These will be carried out by Certiport Authorized Testing Centers worldwide, and will assess Swift's knowledge, application development tools and the main components of applications.
Swift Playgrounds has been an important part of Apple's educational efforts over the past two years. In 2016, the company launched Everyone Can Code, which teaches coding to kindergarten students to college and beyond. That program is now running in more than 5,000 schools and universities worldwide, says Apple.