Learning Resources

Apple Launches Swift Playgrounds App to Teach Kids to Code

The app uses an interactive interface to helps kids explore Swift, Apple’s programming language.

Apple announced Swift Playgrounds, a new iPad app that teaches kids to code in Swift.

Navigating a colorful and graphic interface, students can write code to guide onscreen characters through an immersive, graphical world. They will be asked to solve puzzles and other challenges while learning core coding concepts. Lessons include issuing commands, creating functions, performing loops and using conditional code and variables. Apple plans to release standalone challenges to help students further develop their skills. Others can also use Xcode, a developer environment, to create challenges for the app.

Additionally, the app features built-in templates that can be shared with friends via e-mail or through social media. Projects can even be exported to Xcode to create programs for iOS and macOS that can become full-fledged apps.  

"I wish Swift Playgrounds was around when I was first learning to code,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, in a prepared statement. "Swift Playgrounds is the only app of its kind that is both easy enough for students and beginners, yet powerful enough to write real code. It’s an innovative way to bring real coding concepts to life and empower the next generation with the skills they need to express their creativity.”

The developer preview of Swift Playgrounds is now available. A beta version will be released in June and a final version of Swift Playgrounds will be available in the App Store for free this fall. Further information, including videos and demos, are available on the Swift Playgrounds site.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at sravipati@1105media.com.

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