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.
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!