Revolutionizing code education with Swift Playgrounds
3 min read
June 13, 2016
For most beginners coding can be overwhelming; staring at a computer screen riddled with numbers and letters often discourages them from learning at all. When Apple released Swift two years ago however, they had high hopes for solving this problem and expanding and appealing to the newer generation of developers. Swift as a language is powerful and intuitive while at the same time providing a fun and interactive way to write code. Since then, over 100,000 apps have adopted the lighting fast and easy to learn language, notable ones include Twitter, Strava, Lyft, and Behance. Since it’s release as Open Source in December, the degree of adoption has been phenomenal, ranking as the number one project language on HipHop.
Apple maintains this goal of bringing more people into coding by revealing of Swift Playgrounds at Apple’s annual developer conference today. The app solves the critical problem of coding not being fun nor interactive by taking advantage of Swift’s inherit simple learning structure and pairing it with a game-like platform that includes an avatar(Bite) and several different mazes that one can go through. It offers levels and puzzles where you control Bite with code, and the farther you go the more advanced the concepts become. Other beneficial features of the game that makes it fun to learn the basics of Swift include high quality graphics, smooth transitions and animations. Here's a preview of the app.
"Swift Playgrounds can profoundly impact the way kids learn code."
-Apple CEO Tim Cook
The app will be released to developers today, Public Beta in July, and on the App Store when iOS 10 ships in the fall. The price? Absolutely free. As important as coding is and has been, it still lacks presence in classrooms across the country. By making Swift Playgrounds free, it would be a monumental step towards implementing code as a required language in education or as Apple CEO Tim Cook expresses during the conference, can “profoundly impact the way kids learn code”.
While Apple has made incredible advances in several different areas of technology, this app is the first to dip it's feet into education and coding simultaneously. It takes critical steps towards encouraging more people to enter the coding environment and furthermore revolutionizing the way they learn.