Apple's Swift being taught across Europe in EU Code Week

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2019
The European Union's annual Code Week is working with Apple's Swift language and Everyone Can Code initiative to introduce programming to teachers and students of all ages and abilities.

Apple's Swift and Swift Playgrounds are being used in schools and colleges across Europe
Apple's Swift and Swift Playgrounds are being used in schools and colleges across Europe


This month, the European Union is running its annual series of Code Week initiatives with projects taking place between October 5 and 20. Apple is championing the EU's campaign which sees both its Swift language and Everyone Can Code events involved.

Apple is highlighting the work of selected education establishments in the project, ranging from a primary school in England to an adult learning course in Italy.

"Meet teachers Alice Nutt and Clare Scott," says Apple in a press release. "They were introduced to coding only two years ago, and now use Swift Playgrounds to incorporate coding principles into every subject they teach to their young pupils at Layton Primary School in Blackpool, England."

Scott says that the use of Swift Playgrounds has changed how students now engage in subjects.

"Children would sit there [before] and wait for things to happen," she says. "But children with a coding mentality know that if they do something, something will happen. There will be an output if they put in an input -- they are more resourceful in terms of being able to tackle problems."

Nutt offers that coding fits with every subject from science to the arts.

"We realized we'd already been using the skills of coding everywhere in the curriculum," she says. "When we write, we go back and edit and improve it -- we were debugging. We sequence stories, we sequence events and things that we do in our everyday lives. So it's just making everyone at the school realize that coding really is all around you."

Teacher Alice Nutt using Swift Playgrounds in Blackpool, England
Teacher Alice Nutt using Swift Playgrounds in Blackpool, England


Apple also spoke to Belinda Tagariello, who had been a student in Italy and is now teaching others how she has developed her own app.

"When I started to develop the app, I started to feel free because I could do it myself," says Tagariello. "When I found this, I found my way."

So far she has taught 41 students over the last two years, and in total they have developed 14 apps. Some 16 of her students now have jobs in the technology industry.

Apple says that over 5,000 educational establishments are using the company's Everyone Can Code curriculum.

EU Code Week is an annual series of events that features Apple among more than two dozen different projects for teachers and students, featuring tools and programming languages from Swift to Python.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,808member
    I really like the notion of interleaving coding/programming education as a means and tool to help solve real world problems across multiple problem domains. In my opinion this integrated approach is far more effective than trying to teach a programming language straight-up, e.g., keywords, syntax, semantics, operators, etc., especially for someone who doesn’t already know a programming language. It places more emphasis on the “why” rather than the “how” by associating the newly acquired skill with a clear purpose, kind of like teaching a man to fish. 
    Wgkruegeremoellerapplesnoranges
  • Reply 2 of 5
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,328member
    dewme said:
    I really like the notion of interleaving coding/programming education as a means and tool to help solve real world problems across multiple problem domains. In my opinion this integrated approach is far more effective than trying to teach a programming language straight-up, e.g., keywords, syntax, semantics, operators, etc., especially for someone who doesn’t already know a programming language. It places more emphasis on the “why” rather than the “how” by associating the newly acquired skill with a clear purpose, kind of like teaching a man to fish. 
    Yeah, this is something which people who love getting into the technical details of everything don't understand.  Most people are motivated by human factors: how does what I'm doing fulfill a need?  For example, they'll learn how to use a GPS if it enables them to get to loved ones (the human need).  They're not interested in learning how a GPS does what it does.  So it's the same for teaching the basics of programming, you need to show what can be done with it (the why, as you say) and not just talk about all the structural details.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    dewme said:
    I really like the notion of interleaving coding/programming education as a means and tool to help solve real world problems across multiple problem domains. In my opinion this integrated approach is far more effective than trying to teach a programming language straight-up, e.g., keywords, syntax, semantics, operators, etc., especially for someone who doesn’t already know a programming language. It places more emphasis on the “why” rather than the “how” by associating the newly acquired skill with a clear purpose, kind of like teaching a man to fish. 
    If I had to nitpick here, the only issue I have with this is a lot of is for application development, which is a subset of programming. A real world problem isn't always solved by making an application. Still for the youth out there who had no prior exposure to coding, I think this is a good start albeit it's just a different way of communicating to the people today compared to the past.
    edited October 2019
  • Reply 4 of 5
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,328member
    dewme said:
    I really like the notion of interleaving coding/programming education as a means and tool to help solve real world problems across multiple problem domains. In my opinion this integrated approach is far more effective than trying to teach a programming language straight-up, e.g., keywords, syntax, semantics, operators, etc., especially for someone who doesn’t already know a programming language. It places more emphasis on the “why” rather than the “how” by associating the newly acquired skill with a clear purpose, kind of like teaching a man to fish. 
    If I had to nitpick here, the only issue I have with this is a lot of is for application development, which is a subset of programming. A real world problem isn't always solved by making an application. Still for the youth out there who had no prior exposure to coding, I think this is a good start albeit it's just a different way of communicating to the people today compared to the past.
    The vast majority of people won't even take it as far as building an application.  The real skill being taught here for most is problem solving skills: how to analyze a problem and find a sequence of steps which will solve it (as well as clearly communicating those steps), which has applications far beyond computers.  Cooking, for example.  I've seen programming being taught in a way that you have to explain how to cook a recipe to a robot which will do exactly what you say (and make mistakes due to vagueness/interpretation which comes with spoken language).
    edited October 2019 davenargonaut
  • Reply 5 of 5
    What iPads are compatible? I get this message on my iPad Air 2 when trying to open an Augmented Reality book created on iPad Pro. The message says iPad Air required but I’m using iPad Air 2?
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