Coding is as essential to our kids' education as math and history lessons, with tech leaders, presidents and coding organizations touting the importance of the skill. Learning how to create the stuff on which our modern society runs will ready future generations to make the things that the rest of us will use. Tynker, a company that creates self-paced and school-based coding lessons for kids, has partnered up with Apple's Everyone Can Code program to provide two new courses for students in Kindergarten to 5th grade. The free curriculum -- available via the free iTynker iPad app -- is also integrated across two new curriculum modules for teachers in iBooks.
Apple's efforts in encouraging children to learn coding skills -- and its own Swift language -- isn't new. It has partnered with Tynker in the past to provide coding "camps" in its retail stores, while the Swift Playgrounds app teaches coding skills by way of game-like activities. This new partnership reinforces these educational efforts with new content to help younger students learn the concepts behind Swift, while the teacher guides give educators practical coding lessons along with offline activities to use in the classroom. There are 115 levels of "coding puzzles and do-it-yourself projects" in the curriculum, which starts with "Space Cadet" for K-2 students to solve puzzles set in space. "Dragon Spells" is for students in grades 3-5, tasking them to train dragons and collect treasures while they learn.
The Tynker iPad app is available in the App Store for free. Students are able to share their work in a special Tynker-led community, while teachers can keep track of individual student progress. Teachers can create their own Tynker accounts for themselves and their students for free, as well.