Apple announced plans to release a free app focused on middle-school students that will help them learn how to code.
The app, called Swift Playgrounds, will teach youngsters basic computer coding language like sequencing logic by having them use word commands to move cartoon avatars through an animated world.
Some other children’s coding education apps use drag-and-drop. Apple instead is using Swift, the professional programming language Apple introduced in 2014.
“When you learn to code with Swift Playgrounds, you are learning the same language used by professional developers,” Brian Croll, Apple’s vice president of product marketing, said in a telephone interview. “It’s easy to take the next step and learn to write a real app.”
The app announcement is coordinated with a larger Silicon Valley campaign to teach coding in public schools, an initiative which could help address socio-economic issues while training the next crop of SV coders.
The app is free but it does require an iPad, which could be challenging for the less fortunate to buy given the $599 starting price.