Apple has announced it will be hosting free coding workshops at all 487 of its retail stores around the world.
The workshops will run from December 5th to 11th and are being held to mark the occasion of Computer Science Education Week.
Dubbed the Hour of Code workshops, registration for the sessions is now open. When the events have been held in the past they have proven to be among the most popular held in Apple stores – so demand for place is likely to be high.
Some of the basics of computer science are taught at the Hour of Code workshops, which take advantage of programming tutorials hosted by Code.org. Apple shares with this company the goal of giving every student the opportunity to learn computer science.
This year's run of the event will be distinguished from previous iterations as it will include an introduction to Swift Playgrounds, the free new app for iPad that is hoped to bring coding to life for younger users in particular and was launched earlier this year.
Swift Playgrounds boasts an interactive interface that encourages beginners to explore working with Swift, which is a proprietary programming language from Apple that is used by professional developers all around the world and is designed to be as easy to learn as possible.
Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice-president of software engineering, said that coding is just like any other language, in that the student is more likely to become fluent in it if they are exposed to it at a younger age.
“Whether at an Apple Store, in a classroom, or at home with an iPad, Swift Playgrounds brings real coding concepts to life and empowers the next generation with the skills they need to express their creativity,” he commented.
A dedicated Hour of Code challenge has been created in Swift Playgrounds to make it easy for anyone to set up their own one-hour event. Those intent on continuing to build their coding skills on iPad will benefit from a new set of lessons titled Learn to Code 3, in addition to a companion Teacher Guide.
Apple has also developed a series of tools to extend Hour of Code into schools and community centres. These new tools include a free facilitator guide offering lesson ideas, and group activities, among other things.
Senior vice-president of retail at Apple Angela Ahrendts said that the Hour of Code events embody her company's vision for its stores as being more than simple shops, but also community centres where people can come together to learn and be entertained at the same time.
“We're proud to introduce the Swift Playgrounds app into the workshops and honoured 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.”