Apple unveils new resources for elementary school coding and inclusive app design

Apple is unveiling new coding resources for elementary school students and educators, including a new activity guide, Everyone Can Code Early Learners, that extends its coding curriculum resources from kindergarten to college. Educators can also try Apple’s new one-hour Inclusive App Design activity to introduce students to the world of coding and app development. In addition, updates to the popular Schoolwork app include support for exit tickets and enable educators to use the app on their personal devices.

Everyone Can Code Early Learners is a new activity guide that fully extends Apple’s coding curriculum resources from kindergarten to college.
Everyone Can Code Early Learners is a new activity guide that fully extends Apple’s coding curriculum resources from kindergarten to college.

“Coding and app design are essential literacies — these skills help students think critically and creatively, regardless of whether they go on to be app developers,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Education and Enterprise Marketing, in a statement. “Apple now offers coding resources for learners from kindergarten to college, and challenges them to design amazing apps that are inclusive and accessible to users. Our resources and support for educators are designed to prepare students to be the innovators of tomorrow, whether they’re just getting started or ready to build their first apps.”

Everyone Can Code Early Learners introduces coding to students in their early years, when learners are first developing computational thinking skills.
Everyone Can Code Early Learners introduces coding to students in their early years, when learners are first developing computational thinking skills.

Apple’s 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 supplemental new activity guide to Apple’s Everyone Can Code curriculum and the Swift Playgrounds app, Everyone Can Code Early Learners helps educators and families introduce coding to students in their early years, when learners are first developing computational thinking skills. Through engaging and often off-screen activities, learners in kindergarten through third grade will discuss, discover, and play to build a foundation in core 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 to social emotional learning.

“Learning the fundamentals of coding at a young age helps students listen, communicate, and think in new ways — and it improves students’ confidence,” said Leticia Batista, Ed.D., a dual-language kindergarten teacher at McKinna Elementary School in Oxnard, California. “Code brings students onto equal ground, no matter what language they speak at home, and helps build a strong community of problem solvers. I’m looking forward to introducing my students to Swift with the engaging, age-appropriate arts and movement activities in Everyone Can Code Early Learners.”

Resources for educators and families help guide learners through activities in the Swift Playgrounds app.
Resources for educators and families help guide learners through activities in the Swift Playgrounds app.

During Europe Code Week, October 9-24, and through Computer Science Education Week, December 6-12, Apple is encouraging educators and their students to participate in an introductory Inclusive App Design activity. This new lesson from Apple helps educators guide students through a one-hour session to turn their ideas into apps with inclusion and accessibility in mind. The app design process helps students identify problems they care about, and then plan, prototype, and code creative solutions. It helps students think critically about how to build apps that are inclusive for all and prepares them to be the innovators of tomorrow.

In addition, new updates coming to the Schoolwork app add support for a popular educator survey tool 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 comprehension, reactions, or engagement. New enhancements to the Schoolwork setup experience give teachers the ability to create Schoolwork accounts for students with little to no IT involvement.

The Schoolwork app now includes support for exit tickets, giving educators a new way to check in with students and assess comprehension.
The Schoolwork app now includes support for exit tickets, giving educators a new way to check in with students and assess comprehension.

Everyone Can Code Early Learners is available today as a free download for families and educators on apple.co/code-early. In celebration of Europe Code Week, the guide is launching in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish, with additional languages to follow. The Inclusive App Design activity is available now in the Apple Teacher Learning Center. The Schoolwork app is available in beta through AppleSeed for IT.

7 Comments

  1. This is still idiotic – not every person will have the desire to code. They should focus on tech literacy, the actual area people fall short. And good design is by its nature inclusive (ahem – maybe address the just generally bad design? Nope, too easy, and no opportunity to virtue signal. Also, it actually might work and then there’d be nothing to virtue signal over in the future. To these folks that’s like saying there’d be no air in the future). This once brilliant company is so backward at this point. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s even possible to move past the woke’s new dark ages anymore.

    1. The answer to this is right there in the article: “Coding and app design are essential literacies — these skills help students think critically and creatively, regardless of whether they go on to be app developers,” said Susan Prescott…

      Coding experience also helps students learn to communicate clearly. A big problem today is poor communication skills. Just because you are talking doesn’t mean people know what you are trying to say.

  2. What is “inclusive app design”? Apps are designed for specific purposes with certain audiences in mind, so by definition every app cannot be inclusive. This is a stupid virtue signal.

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