In EDT 500, we explored the new the Apple App: Swift Playground. It is a fun and engaging programming app that introduces all levels of learners to the Swift programming language. Swift Playgrounds is obviously not the only coding app for the iPad. In fact, there are dozens of apps like this in the App Store, and many have been around for some years now. However, Apple’s take on a coding app for kids is certainly an innovative and intriguing approach. It is a great hook to get students interested and passionate about programming.
2a. Design and Develop Digital‐Age Learning Experiences and Assessments: Specifically, teachers design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity.
Swift Playgrounds allows all levels of teachers to be able to integrate coding and programming into their classroom and across content areas. Students can start with the introductory units and move into actually programming their own apps based on classroom topics! Today’s students need to prepare for a variety of careers that will involve using technology to generate new ideas and creative solutions to problems. These careers could involve working in computer-based applications, inquiring into digital issues or overcoming barriers in more tangible areas.
Swift Playground just touches the surface on coding and programming for students. As you advance on your integration in the classroom students will begin to learn that they have to persevere as they run into the challenges presented as they build and code together. Students will have to identify when they need to make changes to their design and when changes instead should be made to the code itself.
As I mentioned previously, Swift Playgrounds is just one application. There are so many wonderful resources that students can explore and gain real world experiences with coding and programming. They can even take the initiative to start a club using Google’s CS resources. I can confidently say it will continue to evolve and expand for our learners.