'Sesame Street'-themed kids show for Apple TV+ will teach coding basics

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited December 2019
Apple is hoping to encourage more kids to learn to program via one of its Apple TV+ shows, extending its existing Swift-based coding curriculum by having a Sesame Street-themed show teaching the fundamentals program design and creation.

A surprise addition to the Apple TV+ roster, the show is a Sesame Workshop production all about learning to code. Fronted by a "Helpster" muppet who likes helping others, the show will aim to teach the basic principles of programming, including concepts as producing a set of instructions to be followed.

As described on stage in a conversation with "Sesame Street" icon Big Bird, the show will include many elements familiar with viewers of similar shows, including singing and dancing.

While details were light about what to expect, it seems the show won't go as far as to teach Swift coding or how to use Xcode, but will provide guidance on fundamental concepts that can be used in coding and in other areas, like sequences of actions or functions. Considering Apple's existing educational push for coding, including the Everyone Can Code program and the Swift Playgrounds app, the show is likely to be used as a stepping stone to try and encourage more younger users to try out coding at a later time by being more familiar with some of its basic ideas.

The show forms part of the company's Apple TV+ service, which will offer users a selection of original shows and movies from many major content producers and studios. Highlight items on the list include the remake of Steven Spielberg's anthology series "Amazing Stories," the Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon drama "The Morning Show," and a music drama by Sara Bareilles and JJ Abrams titled "Little Voice."


  • Reply 1 of 3
    While a neat idea, I wouldn’t get this service just for this.  Full disclosure: I’m not intending to.  I could an do teach my kids these concepts without paying for this.

    My kids get very little screen time, and I doubt they would want to watch this anyway.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,884member
    Even in the seventies the only thing I liked about Sesame Street was the Count.  The rest was just weird. But I was a country kid in a foreign country.

    i wonder if they will have a coding program for teenagers?
    edited March 2019
  • Reply 3 of 3
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,531member
    I'm all for introducing kids to "coding" at younger ages, as long as it's framed up within the context of logical problem solving and decomposing larger problems that cannot be solved into smaller ones that can be solved. The mechanics of coding, like learning the detailed syntax and semantics of languages, familiarization with built-in language functions and operators, algorithms, using APIs, numerical operations, and string manipulation, etc., are much further up the learning curve than what I'd expect at the Sesame Street level. We have to be careful not to get too hell bent on using "coding" as a euphemism for molding young minds to better serve the narrowly focused industrial, business, and economic interests of our society. Kids do need to be able to solve real world problem, use tools, and learn how to cope with the realities of life. They're not going to get attain all of the required life skills solely by learning Swift or JavaScript. At the Sesame Street age it might be as productive to get them off their iPads, iPhones, and Play Stations every once in a while and engaged in everyday home activities like helping with a complex meal preparation, putting a shopping list together, or help with planning a weekend getaway. Coding is cool, fun, and creative - but the "Hello World!" app that parents need to help their kids formulate in reality-space is a lot more important than the version they'll learn using Swift, C#, or 6502 machine code (hey, it was my first programming language) for use in cyber-space.
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