Irish EU Code Week Hackathon: Complete!

I’ve been involved with EU Code Week’s Irish hackathons for the last few years, and this year’s edition was a hybrid of online and in-person at Microsoft’s DreamSpace in Leopardstown Wednesday.

Pam and Julie did an amazing job running the event, as usual, and there was some great work done by the students.

On the first day I gave a little presentation on the App Design Journal and gave the students some tips straight from the App Design page, here, to help them organize their thoughts before they dove right into coding.

It’s a real highlight of the year, and show off what we can do with some of these transition year students in Ireland.

Teaching Code: A New Series

Almost by accident, I started a new live stream today. I’m not 100% sure of the hours or the timing of these, but the videos will be available in the Teaching Code playlist, because that’s the goal of these sessions: to show you all the resources available on your iPad for teaching code.

This should be especially useful for schools who have an iPad one-to-one programme and teachers who have some creative students who want to add another tool to their toolbox.

EU Code Week 2021: Sneak Peek

October 21

October 21st is barreling towards us, as is our App Inclusivity Challenge!

We’ll have a lot of hands on with Keynote prototyping, as well as the next leap: to code!

As a part of our activity, I’ve thrown together a playground based on a prototype one of Lyndsey’s students did. The goal is to show you (or your students) how the user interface relates to code.

If you’re curious and want to get a sneak peek of some of what we’ll be working you through on Thursday, go ahead and download this playground to your iPad or Mac. It’s in the main Code Hub Playgrounds feed, which you can access here:

If you already subscribe to the feed, this new playground will show up when you tap on More Playgrounds > See All. It should look a bit like this:

It’s called Europe Code Week 2021: App Inclusivity Playground, and there are plenty of instructions in the playground, itself. If you’re lost, though, you can always join us on Thursday. We’ll work through the App Inclusivity activity and how you might use it in your classroom.

See you then!

Creating Xcode Playgrounds

On the back of our Swift Playground series, I created a quick video to show you how to create an Xcode Playground, like the ones you would use if you’re taking (or teaching) the Develop in Swift material.

You can watch it below or head off to YouTube:

You’ll find out how to create additional pages for your Xcode playground and how to create links between them so students can navigate.

Playgrounds are a great tool for teaching. The markup you’ll see in this brief video will show you how to author some of your own.

A few links from the video:

Develop All Around – Get Active!

Develop in Swift, all week, every day next week!

I’m busy putting the finishing touches on our Teaching Develop in Swift Online class for next week. It promises to be a week full of Swift coding and app prototyping that you’ll be able to use in your classroom to teach people how to code.

I’m so excited, and if you’re joining us, I hope you are, too.

All Around Skills

But I was reminded this week of how much we’re all sitting in front of these screens, all day, nearly every day. I have two teenagers in secondary school here in Ireland. Their schools are doing an amazing job keeping them learning during these difficult times, but it is a looooooong day in front of an iPad or laptop.

We’ll have the same scenario next week, with our instructors: it’s a lot of hours in front of a screen.

Now, in addition to coding, I love working out, whether it’s playing a sport or exercising to feel more fit.

And during lockdown and before, I work out with a trainer in Ireland named Dominic Munnelly.

If you’re looking to make sure you’re developing all your skills, physical as well as mental, you could do a lot worse than working out with him every Monday and Wednesday at 7pm, Irish time. Catch him on his Instagram channel live or watch it back later at your leisure.

Dom’s not paying me to say this, and his sessions on Instagram are free. Even though they say they’re for kids they’re challenging enough for any of us who have been sitting down all day at a computer or device.

You’ll find a good mix of moving your body, a little bit of strength work, and some mobility, to make sure you’re flexible and fit for life, not just for today.


Of course, you might have your favorite workout routine. There’s Joe Wicks and his video series, Swim Ireland are holding live online workouts, Sport Ireland have some awesome family workouts, too.

Just getting away from the screen for a little bit each day will help you clear your mind, shake out the cobwebs, and hopefully improve your mood. The thing I love about all the people I’ve linked above is that they don’t push you past your limits. They all have a sensible approach to getting and keeping fit.

This is just a public service announcement to make sure you’re taking care of yourself both mentally as well as physically.

And we’ll see you out there, coding!

Learn to Code, the May Session — SOLD OUT

Sold out!
Sold out!

This is becoming a bit of a habit. Instead of being able to tout the brand new session of Learn to Code for May 2018, it turns out it, too, has sold out within a few minutes of me spreading the word.

Of course, I’m excited about the enthusiasm, but it seems like I’m going to have to start finding extra hours in the day to run some more classes to bring some of Apple’s Everyone Can Code curriculum as well as my own to the kids of South Dublin…

As before, if you or your kids, ideally aged 9-12, want to attend a future Learn to Code class with me, drop by the contact form to let me know and I can make sure you’re amongst the first to hear about any new sessions.

Ready and waiting for the students...
Ready and waiting for the students…

Swift Playgrounds Subscription (Beta)

If you have the very latest Swift Playgrounds you can now subscribe to The Code Hub Swift Playgrounds by visiting the following page on your iPad:

Swift Playgrounds
Swift Playgrounds

Our Fundamentals of Programming course is available on the feed right now, but we’ll be adding our ARKit content and Turtle Graphics playgrounds in the very near future. Stay tuned!