Apple Stores to Host Free 'Hour of Code' Workshops in Early December

Apple today announced it has opened registration for free one-hour "Hour of Code" workshops between December 5 and December 11 at all 487 of its retail stores worldwide. This year's workshops will include an introduction to Apple's new educational Swift Playgrounds coding app for iPad.

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“Hour of Code embodies our vision for Apple stores as a place for the community to gather, learn and be entertained,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail. “We’re proud to introduce the Swift Playgrounds app into the workshops and honored to again work side-by-side with Code.org on this incredibly important initiative. Hour of Code is one of the absolute highlights of the year for both our teams and the families that visit our stores.”

Since 2013, Apple has hosted Hour of Code workshops during Computer Science Education Week to teach kids and students the basics of computer science using non-profit website Code.org's programming tutorials.

Apple said it has developed new tools to extend the Hour of Code initiative into schools and community centers, including a free facilitator guide offering lesson ideas, group activities, and more. Apple will also provide resources to assist ConnectED schools in the U.S. with hosting their own Hour of Code workshops.

Those interested can register through Apple's Hour of Code page.

Top Rated Comments

ArtOfWarfare Avatar
77 months ago
Yeah, but they axed their head of automation.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kattskrall Avatar
77 months ago
Enjoy coding om dem ipads, kids (:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
77 months ago
Hi, would this be good for a 9 year old without any coding (or iOS ) experience?
There were kids all over the age group, from as little as 5 to early high schoolers.

Having said that, I am a software developer so I've taught him some the basics early on.
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They let kids that young go? Interesting. I have a 5 year old niece who said she wanted a robot that allows her to program it for Christmas. And for her 5th birthday, she didn't want barbies or princess stuff; she wanted "science stuff". Sorry, proud uncle here!

I'm not sure if she's ready for this kind of programming, but I think this kind of thing helps build their logic & critical thinking skills.
I am not sure about Swift since that's new, but Code.org is specifically designed for K to 12, so that would include your 5 year old niece if she's already kindergarten ready or in kindergarten.

Check out Code.org. It's free and all you need is a browser.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H1Supreme Avatar
77 months ago

As for skills that will be useful in the future... once programming is no longer useful, I'm skeptical that any skill will be useful. Once computers are able to program themselves, I expect computers will have surpassed us at everything.
Exactly. Programming is still going to be around for a long time. People have been making the argument that technology will make creating applications easier, and thereby removing the need for programmers, for years. But, the need for programmers is currently larger than it's ever been.

Something that is hard for non-programmers to understand is: Writing code is often times the easiest way to do something. Not with a nice GUI interface, and buttons, and sliders, and forms, but with code. Things that appear simple to create, usually have very complex sub-systems with hundreds (if not thousands) of decisions made along the way.

Simply telling an AI to "create X application" will be met with many choices. Choices that will most likely require informed decisions. But, yeah, if computers are programming themselves, and software devs are out of a job. Everyone's gonna be out of a job.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SigEp265 Avatar
77 months ago
They took our jerbs!!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisCW11 Avatar
77 months ago
Ultimately I think that computers will eventually learn how to do things based on natural language requests rather than the other way around. In 20 years if I can't tell a computer, even something with Siri on it, to do what I want and my expectations for the results without having to spend days, weeks, months, or even years building carefully crafted code logic to achieve the same thing, then Silicon Valley has failed monumentally.

My only problem in forcing kids into becoming software developers today is that skill set will become obsolete once real machine learning and natural language paradigms for "programming" a device to do something become prevalent. Sure, maybe today's kids will be the ones building those systems, but we are quickly nearing having a generation of kids that will be the last to have to toil in deep code logic.

In the same way we currently have a countries full of laborers without any factory jobs, in 20 years we might end up with a glut of software developers with nothing to develop because the average person can whip up an app by request.

Still, the logic, problem solving and critical thinking that you learn from writing code is a good way to make kids ready for real life, but ultimately the idea of thinking that all kids will need to write code for the future is a little shortsighted.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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