Apple Announces 'Everyone Can Code' Initiative and New Apple Teacher...

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Apple Announces 'Everyone Can Code' Initiative and New Apple Teacher Program

By Mary Jo Madda (Columnist)     Sep 7, 2016

Apple Announces 'Everyone Can Code' Initiative and New Apple Teacher Program

Apple believes that everyone can code, according to the latest initiative the company has launched.

While “Hello iPhone 7, goodbye phone jack” is what a lot of the world is saying at the moment, educators might be more interested in Apple’s latest foray into computer science education with the “Everyone Can Code” initiative. As part of its ConnectED promise, Apple will bring coding education to schools, all related to its homegrown programming language Swift.

CEO Tim Cook announced on September 7 that 114 ConnectED schools will start programming this fall. According to Cook, Apple has also provided a Mac and an iPad to 4,500 teachers, while also putting an Apple TV in every ConnectED classroom and distributing 50,000 iPads for students.

"We've always believed that education is a great equalizer, a powerful force for change, for good, and we've always believed that our products could have a positive impact on teachers and students," Cook said during a press conference. "But we're keenly aware that not every school can have this impact. That's why we're so deeply committed to ConnectED, a national initiative combining government and leading technology companies to bring that technology to underserved schools."

The tool at the heart of instruction will be Swift Playgrounds, an iPad app aimed at teaching young students to code. Apple announced the app back at its Worldwide Developers' Conference on June 13.

With games and a Minecraft-like design (shown above), the Swift Playgrounds gaming environment instructs students to solve puzzles using Swift. Students can also develop their ideas into apps, as Swift Playgrounds integrates with Apple's mobile coding environment, Xcode.

Apple plans to release Swift Playgrounds in the next few weeks, as well as curriculum guides for teachers to use in the classroom.

Everyone Can Code was not the only edu-related announcement Apple made this week. The company also debuted a new 'Apple Teacher' program, by which educators can sign up to receive tips on using Apple products in the classroom. The website also reports that teachers can "receive an official Apple Teacher logo" after "completing online quizzes" providing knowledge of apps and tools.

Mary Jo Madda (@MJMadda) is Senior Editor at EdSurge, as well as a former STEM middle school teacher and administrator. In 2016, Mary Jo was named to the Forbes "30 Under 30" list in education.

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