Apple Stores to Host Free 'Hour of Code' Workshops in Early December
Nov 17, 2016 6:14 am PST by Joe Rossignol
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.

“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

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18 weeks ago
Yeah, but they axed their head of automation.
Rating: 4 Votes
18 weeks ago
Enjoy coding om dem ipads, kids (:
Rating: 4 Votes
18 weeks 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.
Rating: 2 Votes
18 weeks ago

In order to be in this class you probably need to have a newer iPad. This is one way of increasing iPad sales this holiday. You'll probably never learn automation anyway, I'm sure you'll learn more about Apple products.


Nope Apple provides the devices for the kids to use. I'm a cynic too....

No doubt Apple benefits from this by getting kids on board with their devices from an early age. But no product is sold or pushed at these events, and I speak from firsthand experience. In fact, the kids usually get some free Apple swag.

I don't know why people are talking about Automator, it has nothing to do with Swift Playgrounds app...people just want to complain
Rating: 2 Votes
18 weeks ago
They took our jerbs!!
Rating: 2 Votes
18 weeks 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.
Rating: 2 Votes
18 weeks 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.
Rating: 2 Votes
18 weeks 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.

This is a huge fundamental problem of our future as a species. I've had so many in-depth conversations about this, it's not even funny. Just because I'm a philosophical kind of person. I've often thought, what will really be the last thing to go? First, manufacturing and processing, obviously, but then what? I'm a financial analyst, and I somehow manage to max out the ram on my desktop at work (it only has 8GB) just playing around in Excel sometimes, but my job will definitely be coded for eventually. Then we have machine learning so the damn coding won't need coders lol. I almost think doctors and lawyers will be the last to go, just because I don't think people will trust robots for that stuff. Surgery on the other hand, again, already partially replaced/aided by robots. Trying not to go on too much of a tangent here, but I already did so I'll stop and won't even get to how the hell we're going to distribute goods and services once no one has a job or how AI will probably wipe us off the face of the planet because all we do is use up natural resources and cause species to go extinct lol.
Rating: 1 Votes
18 weeks ago
My kid, who was 6 last year, enjoyed Hour of Code last year (Code.org based). Each kid uses an iPad mini, and they all get an EarPods and a certificate at the end.

I've signed him up for Swift workshop. I've already installed Swift Playgrounds on his iPad Pro, so it should be a good motivation.
Rating: 1 Votes
18 weeks ago

My kid, who was 6 last year, enjoyed Hour of Code last year (Code.org based). Each kid uses an iPad mini, and they all get an EarPods and a certificate at the end.

I've signed him up for Swift workshop. I've already installed Swift Playgrounds on his iPad Pro, so it should be a good motivation.


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.
Rating: 1 Votes

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