Yes, Everyone Can Code! Hour of Code Week December 5-11

Swift Playgrounds

bae74108-2f7d-41b1-b809-99aba261ba57I received this awesome email regarding the Hour of Code week and wanted everyone to benefit from it:

In celebration of Computer Science Education Week December 5-11, we’ve added new resources to our popular Everyone Can Code program to make it easier to bring coding into your school.
Hour of Code Activity
We’re excited to announce a new Hour of Code™ challenge, right in the Swift Playgrounds app for iPad. The challenge, which only takes an hour to complete, lets students use real Swift code to guide a character through a dynamic 3D world. Students will learn how to give simple commands, write functions, and run loops. The Hour of Code Challenge in Swift Playgrounds is a great way to start exploring teaching, writing and learning code.
The Hour of Code™ is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming. Sign up for a hands-on Hour of Code workshop in your local Apple Store.  Or, host your own activity in class or after school with the Swift Playgrounds app and our Hour of Code Facilitator Guide. 
 
Expanded Curriculum for Swift Playgrounds and iPad
For those who have already started learning to code with Swift Playgrounds, we’re pleased to add a new set of lessons to the app called Learn to Code 3, along with a companion Teacher Guide to support using the curriculum in the classroom. Learn to Code 3 helps students put together the skills they learned in previous lessons and apply them in a project-based environment. The Teacher Guide includes activities, reflection questions, journal prompts, and more to help teachers bring these new lessons into the classroom.
 
Earn Swift Playgrounds Badges in Apple Teacher 
We are also excited to announce a new professional learning opportunity to help teachers build skills to bring coding into their classrooms. Apple Teachers can now complete four new badges for learning and teaching with Swift Playgrounds, and earn a new Apple Teacher logo featuring Swift Playgrounds to share their accomplishment.
 
New Apple Professional Learning Provider
For teachers, schools, and districts who want additional support to bring iOS app development into their curriculum, we’re pleased to announce MobileMakersEdu as a new Apple Professional Learning Provider. MobileMakersEdu offers workshops and training so teachers can bring App Development with Swift into their classrooms.
 
To learn more about these new offerings and the Everyone Can Code program, visit the website.

WEP 0059: An Interview with Jon Jarc

The Crossroads of Technology, Empathy and Human Connections

2eoblcmmIn this podcast, Kelly interviews Jon Jarc. Jon is an Apple Distinguished Educator. This episode will “awaken” many fantastic ideas for you and your classroom. Get ready for an inspiring conversation with two passionate educators.

Jon is a teacher, technologist and artist. He has been teaching high school students for 18 years, and has worked as a free-lance graphic designer for the same. He enjoys designing solutions to complex tasks, and being creative in how technology can build literacy skills in all academic areas. Jon is also an avid photographer and music enthusiast.

Follow Jon on Twitter at @TrendingEdTech

If asked what kind of educator he is, Jon would say that he loves working on the bleeding edge of technology. In his classes this year he will be using drones, 3D printers, and computer programming to invent, create, discover, design, and produce awesome things! This semester, his 3D Design class is starting a partnership with “eNabling the Future”, an organization that pairs children in need of prosthetics with students and fabricators. He is looking forward to seeing how his designers (students) will develop solutions to problems where empathy and human connections are the primary focus of their work.

Jon is also the director of the newly formed school makerspace, aimed at bringing cutting-edge software, engineering and tooling to every student. His afterschool club focuses on creating, making, teamwork and self-discovery. He’s always looking to connect, create and innovate!

Mentioned in this podcast:
• Follow Jon on Twitter
• Jon’s books: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/author/jonathan-jarc/id967599595?mt=11
• Mya Animation Software
• Jon’s favorite books: The Power of Myth and The Hero’s Journey, both by Joseph Campbell
• One of Jon’s favorite apps, Clipstro
Kelly’s favorite 3-D Printer: And it’s inexpensive! Really! Only $399. 
Tickle App
• Swift Playgrounds
Sphero: I love this! Great for all classes. So many ideas!
• Kelly’s book: Along Came a Leader
Sponsoring a Wired Educator Podcast: This is how you do it.
Hour of Code: Anyone can start this! Yes, you! Do it.
Apple Teacher Program: Everybody should earn these badges.


Television Interview for Wired Educator on 13 ABC News in Toledo

Yesterday, I was interviewed by Toledo’s 13 ABC News about my podcast, apps for families getting into the back-to-school routine, and all of my favorite technology in the classroom.

It was a lot of fun demonstrating some of my favorite apps and answering questions about how families and teachers can better utilize technology.  Some of my favorites that I was able to share included: iTunes U, iBooks Author, Swift Playgrounds, PhotoMath, Cozi, and so many, many more. I also talked about devices having a bedtime too and shared some great tips for parenting children with devices.

It sounds like 13 ABC may have me back a couple more times for some other segments like the upcoming iOS update, and maybe even a Christmas “gadget” review or something. The segments we taped today was for one local show in the Toledo, Ohio viewing area and two national segments.

It really was a lot of fun to see behind the scens and meet Rebecca Regnier and her other guests. Seeing a professional production was inspiring for my podcasting as well.

How to Learn to Code in Swift with a Chromebook

Screen Shot 2016 08 06 at 12 36 42 PM

I am incredibly excited about Apple’s new programming language called Swift, and Swift Playgrounds arriving on the iPad for free this Fall. I cannot think of a better way for students to learn to code. In addition to Swift Playground on the iPad, Apple has released amazing resources for free to help everyone learn to code. Check out Apple’s education page: Everyone Can Code. http://www.apple.com/education/everyone-can-code/

As exciting as this is, however, I know there are schools that will be unable to use these awesome resources because their school went with Chromebooks. While affordable, Chromebooks just don’t allow the creativity and diversity of an iPad or MacBook. 

I don’t want learning the future of code, Swift Language, to be limited to students who do not have access to iPads and Chromebooks, so, I am pleased to share my thoughts on how this can be accomplished. 

Everyone can learn to code Swift!

A MacBook would allow you to download Xcode so you could program, and an iPad using Swift Playgrounds has a built in Swift emulator to let you try out code. But what could you do on a Chromebook or a computer other than an Apple product? While the experience will not be as rich and full, there are some options. 

First of all, I would start by downloading and going through Apple’s iBook, App Development with Swift and App Development with Swift: A Teacher’s Guide. I’m not sure if you can export these as a PDF to share on the Chromebooks or not but regardless, these are excellent guides to help you learn to code in Swift.

Second, there are several websites that are starting to allow you to learn to code in a playground environment in your browser:

IBM Swift Sandbox: This is a great resource and it’s free. You can find the IBM Swift emulator here: https://swiftlang.ng.bluemix.net/#/repl This is an interactive website that lets you write, execute, and share Swift code in a server environment. This is very well done and perhaps the best of the bunch. 

RunSwift: http://www.runswiftlang.com RunSwift allows you to try Apple’s Swift Programming Language from with the browser. While you cannot import arbitrary modules, a small subset of Foundation is included.

SwiftStubhttp://swiftstub.com Allows you to type some Swift code. There are links to tutorials. Rather limited. 

Last, you need to check out all of my articles on Wired Educator related to learning to Swift Code. I think you will be impressed with the variety and depth of my research.  I have written many. I even have an article on learning to code Swift on your phone!

If you are serious about learning and teaching Swift, my best recommendation is getting an iPad as the perfect Swift learning tool, and a MacBook as the ultimate Swift Programming Tool. 

Llearn Swift.  I am convinced this is the future of code and by starting now, right now, can catch the wave while others are still paddling out. Apple is convinced that EVERYONE can learn to code and they want you to learn this and are making every effort so this language can be learned by ANYONE. You can do this. Get started today. Every excuse you can come up with has been eliminated. Go!

Scrivener Finally Arriving on iPad and iPhone! Yay!

Screen Shot 2016 06 20 at 2 04 37 PM

Screen Shot 2016 06 20 at 2 05 33 PM

Like many writers, I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of my favorite writing tool, Scrivener, to land on iOS since its creator, Literature and Latte, announced the idea five years ago. 

If you have never heard of Scrivener before it is quite simply the best software for writing available. I use it on my Mac wherever I go.  It’s how I wrote my book, Along Came a Leader. Scrivener allows you to write how you think. It’s absolutely fantastic. 

Today, Literature and Latte announced that “we’ll be bringing Scrivener to iOS before the close of July 2016.” This means that Scrivener users, like myself, will be able to work on their writing on all of their favorite devices. The software will cost $19.99 on the iTunes App Store. 

The app is going through a beta test right now, and I unfortunately am not a beta tester. (Unless Literature and Latte wants to send me a code?) I just know this app is going to rock since the original coder and creator of Scrivener took over and finished the product, and the fact it has been five years!  It’s going to be great. 

How did Scrivener help me? Well, that is simple. Scrivener helped me finish, and that is what makes Scrivener special and worthwhile. It is not a word processor. It is a means to finishing with ease of use, organization, progress monitor, goals, and so much more. 

If you want to learn more about Scrivener you can check out their website at Literature and Latte. 

This is one of my favorite resources: 

Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.

Writing a novel, research paper, script or any long-form text involves more than hammering away at the keys until you’re done. Collecting research, ordering fragmented ideas, shuffling index cards in search of that elusive structure—most writing software is fired up only after much of the hard work is done. Enter Scrivener: a word processor and project management tool that stays with you from that first, unformed idea all the way through to the final draft. Outline and structure your ideas, take notes, view research alongside your writing and compose the constituent pieces of your text in isolation or in context. Scrivener won’t tell you how to write—it just makes all the tools you have scattered around your desk available in one application.

Screens2