While most malls throughout December will be filled with holiday shoppers looking for last-minute gifts and kids waiting in line to see Santa, Apple stores across the country will be hosting a different kind of holiday party- free coding classes for kids, adults, and teachers.
Yesterday, the company announced their nationwide “Hour of Code” events, which are set to take place from December 1 to December 14 at all of Apple’s retail locations worldwide. Children ages 6-12 will explore coding using interactive robots, learning basic code and logic functions while those over 12 years of age will use Swift Playgrounds and iPads to learn basic coding concepts. Swift is Apple’s proprietary programming language that is used to build many of the App Store’s most popular apps. The company also announced special courses will be offered to teachers who wish to learn Swift to teach at their own schools as part of their Everyone Can Code curriculum, which is reportedly used in over 5,000 schools, community colleges, and technical colleges around the world.
Apple has been working on coding programs since 2016 when it first launched its Everyone Can Code initiative. Everyone Can Code is a program and curriculum designed to help students of all ages to learn to code. The goal of the program is to teach both youth and adults the skills that they need to develop apps or perhaps use it as an introduction to more complicated coding concepts as well as build skills for future careers.
The announcement coincides with Computer Science Education Week, which takes place December 3-9 and is a worldwide event aimed at exposing more young people of all backgrounds to the possibility of computer science as a career. Apple’s Everyone Can Code joins Everyone Can Create, a program designed to help unleash kids’ creativity and communicate ideas through drawing, music, video, and photos on iPad.
While the classes are free, Apple notes that reservations are recommended to ensure space. So take a break from the Christmas shopping and take an hour to treat yourself to a new skill. You never know where it might take you!