Teaching Develop in Swift Online – June Edition

We’re going to be back (online) teaching you how to teach the Develop in Swift material — Explorations, Fundamentals, and Data Collections — in June!

If you’re an educator thinking about teaching Swift and app development (or already doing it), this is a really fun, packed week.

Coming June 21st!

We’ll be holding hands-on workshops, lectures from the books, special sessions, and some takeaway projects you can run with your own classrooms.

Teaching App Development with Swift runs from 21-25 June 2021, from 8am to 16:30, Irish time, each and every day. You get a chunk of time in the middle of the day to work on your projects and finish anything you were working on in the workshops. And then in the afternoons we have some app showcases planned, where you can show off your work!

You can register here, and it’s all free.

We’ve brought back some old favorites and added some new activities that I really think you’ll like, so hopefully we’ll see you online!

Teaching and Presenting with Keynote

When I’m teaching teachers how to teach coding we spend a lot of time in Keynote.

The excellent Develop in Swift series, from Apple, comes with a whole set of keynote files for presenting nearly every lesson in the book. If you download the teacher materials from the Teacher Guide, you’ll find the slides, presenter notes, animations in the keynote files already, as well as Xcode playground-based labs for your students to try.

Now, if you’re new to the Mac, you might to be super familiar with Keynote. So I’ve put together a short video which you can watch below, or you can head off to YouTube, to help you orient yourself in Keynote.

I show you how to present on a Mac with only one screen so you can see your presenter notes, too. If you have an iPhone or an iPad, you might want to watch the Using Keynote Remote to Present video to see how to use the Keynote app on your device to remote control your Mac’s presentation.

If you’ve got all that down, but need help sharing your screen over WebEx, well, I’ve got a video for that, too.

Of course, if you’re new to the Mac or Keynote you’ll still need to get some hands-on practice, but at the very least this video above will start you out on the right foot!

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:

#SwiftStudentChallenge: How to Build a PlaygroundBook, Part 2

#SwiftStudentChallenge

Well, that was a ton of fun Thursday!

As some of the commenters mentioned, that is a daunting session. Xcode, Swift Playgrounds Author Template, mucking around in packages in the Finder, it can certainly be overwhelming.

But the goal of these sessions is to show you how you can create a playground book, for use on an iPad in Swift Playgrounds. And Thursday was definitely not for the faint of heart.

Like we mentioned in the description of the video, if you’re really creating a playground book, you’ll want to read the Swift Playgrounds documentation. That will give you loads more information on how playgrounds are structured, how your code will interact with the app when it’s running, and other cool stuff.

Part 2

Mac image
You will need a Mac for this session.

Like Thursday, we’ll be using a Mac for the next session. We’ll also possibly be using an iPad, to show you how to edit on the fly on your iPad. I haven’t quite thought that one through, though, so buyer beware.

The goal of this session will be to show you an alternative way of creating a Swift Playground Book, in case the other way was too overwhelming.

We’ll monkey around with a playground book and see if we can’t cobble something interesting together.

Ask Questions

Do you have an idea for your Swift Student Challenge but have some questions?

I can try my best to answer them on the air, come along and ask during the session!

#SwiftStudentChallenge: How to Build a PlaygroundBook

#SwiftStudentChallenge

Better late than never, let’s try a live session!

Tomorrow, April 15th, at 1pm, Irish time (2pm CET), I’ll jump back on the live stream (or jump right to the stream here). We’ll walk through creating a Swift Playground Book with the Swift Playgrounds Author Template.

The main goal of this session is to show you how to get ready for the Swift Student Challenge for WWDC 21

Get a Head Start

You will need a Mac for this session.

If you want to get a jump on the game, you can go and download Xcode, first and foremost, if you don’t have it already.

The next thing we’ll be working with tomorrow is the Swift Playgrounds Author Template. You can download this from developer.apple.com. You will need to have a free developer account set up, which you can do when you’re prompted to log in.

Building Your Playground

Other than those tools, you could come with an idea for what you want to build. The standard is high for these student submissions, but maybe the idea you implement this time becomes a mind-blowing playground book for WWDC2022. Or you learn how to build something your friends and family can run on their iPads.

Or are you looking for inspiration? Maybe seeing how we can build Swift playground books might jog some idea out of you.

Whatever stage you’re at, whatever ideas you have, feel free to join us tomorrow. Or if that time doesn’t work for you, catch the recording!

Ask Questions

Do you have an idea for your Swift Student Challenge but have some questions?

I can try my best to answer them on the air, come along and ask during the session!

WWDC21 Dates Announced!

Update: Due to the due date for submissions for the Swift Student Challenge, the live sessions will likely be the week of the 12th of April. See you then!

It looks like you’ll have another set of dates to block off on your calendar in June, in addition to the ones I told you about last time!

Apple has just announced that WWDC, their Worldwide Developer Conference, will be held online from the 7th to the 11th of June this year!

Details are scarce right now, other than the dates, as per usual, but there’s plenty of info about the Swift Student Challenge!

If you’re 16 years of age, here in Europe, 13 in the States, you can submit your playground to show off your skills with Swift. Last year we ran a lot of sessions talking about the Swift Student Challenge. If you’re curious, you’ll find it in the AR sessions.

#SwiftStudentChallenge

It’s just the nugget of an idea, but in late April and May I’m planning on returning to the live stream. We’ll work on some ideas for Swift Playgrounds that you (or your students) could use.

As I’ve only just had the idea of kicking it off, I’m still thinking through the content and format, but we can certainly show off some of the fun stuff you can do with Playgrounds.

If you’re a teacher, feel free to join the Teaching Swift Slack and drop me a note and maybe we can have your class on to talk about ideas for the Swift Student Challenge.

If you’re a student or you don’t want to join yet another discussion board, shoot me a note. I’d love to hear what people have planned or help you get started!

I’m always inspired by the work put in by these students, and would love to help more people strut their stuff.

Watch this space for more news and when we’ll be broadcasting, but it should be a lot of fun!

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.

Others

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!

Teaching Develop in Swift – March 2021 Edition

Are you a teacher who is trying to figure out how to teach coding, and app development in particular?

Are you a coder who feels like you could help people learn how to develop apps?

Does this feel like I’m leading you somewhere with all these questions?

Develop in Swift

Well, I am!

I’ll be running a week of intensive training in Teaching Develop in Swift Online with Apple in the first week of March.

Register (for free!) here: http://s.apple.com/dE5i4p0g8b

We’ll give you a pretty good look at the Develop in Swift curriculum, which is aimed at secondary school to university level students.

They’re a series of free e-books Apple has produced to introduce you to the world of coding using their programming language, Swift. It’s the same coding language folks use to write wildly popular apps for your iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and AppleTV.

Develop in Swift Explorations introduces coding in a broader context. It’s designed to reveal coding to those people who might have never considered all the places we experience code someone else has written. We’ll build some of the projects in this book each day, including the really fun QuestionBot. This will form the basis for a project you can run with your own class.

Develop in Swift Fundamentals is aimed at computer science students (though it’s not limited to them!). It’s like a traditional programming class with 3 more projects to build. We’ll also build these in class during the week. I love that this material teaches you Swift and how to build an app. It’s not just a matter of putting code in the right places, it’s about working with others, coming up with a plan for delivering something.

Develop in Swift Data Collections is the last in the series and covers even more advanced stuff to make your apps look amazing and do incredible stuff.

The Week

We’ll have lectures each day from the material, hands-on workshops on projects from the books in the morning. Some time in the middle to work on projects and get food. Then showcases and group discussions in the afternoon. Each day we’ve got special guests coming to talk to us about design, technical topics, or the books themselves.

It should be a ball, and we’ve got some fun, interactive elements planned for it.

So if you’re a coding teacher, a developer who wants to teach, or a teacher who wants to teach coding, come along with us!

Register (for free!) here: http://s.apple.com/dE5i4p0g8b

There’s still space, but not for much longer…

Middle Schoolers Exploring Coding

For those who aren’t as interested, they’re still going to be learning determination, perseverance and trial and error.

from the ReMarker, February 2021, “In a Growing Industry” by William Fitzpatrick Junior of St. Mark’s School of Texas
What is coding?

Issu had an interesting article from a middle school in Texas about the success of their coding program, which runs from fifth to eight grade. They equip their students with designated computer science teachers in all the grades, which is a huge leg up.

I think it’s a brilliant program they have for the kids, but my favorite piece of the article was the quote above. “For those who aren’t as interested.”

That’s a huge segment of the population. Those people who don’t know that much about coding, or maybe they do, and they find it’s just not for them (or don’t know if it’s for them or not).

In the Beginning

In the beginning of your coding career, whatever form that takes, you will likely find some use for coding that suits your needs. It’s how I started.

Where some people might thrill to solving puzzles for the sake of solving them, others may need a specific need met. This is why I love seeing the cross-curricular work that folks like Michael O’Kane, Giovanna Busconi, and Daniel Budd (and more) have put out there to teach coding under the auspices of history, or literature, or math. Maybe that’s how you started: you saw an application this skill in a field completely separate from computer science itself.

Explorations

Apple has an excellent curriculum designed for these sorts of folks: they might not fully get what coding is all about, but they use technology in their daily life, as most of us do, and could potentially benefit from another tool in their tool belt.

Develop in Swift Explorations: https://apple.co/developinswiftexplorations

It’s called Develop in Swift Explorations.

You need a Mac and Xcode 11 (at least), but this course will introduce you to coding in the context of your daily life: how the device you use, like your phone, uses coding and how much of our daily interactions rely on coding and processes we might not have even thought of!

Like Everyone Can Code and the other Develop in Swift books, it’s a self guided book with student resources to download which include labs. At the end of each lesson you have a lab to complete that will help you practice your new found skills.

Explorations for Teachers

If you’re a teacher who wants to try using this material with your students (it’s aimed at high school or university students), I’m running a free week-long session in March that might help.

We’ll cover the Explorations curriculum, as well as the Develop in Swift Fundamentals course. Fundamentals is more of a computer science course, but still a great introduction to coding. We take you through the books and get you familiar with the material and ways you can teach it.

You can register here: http://s.apple.com/dE5i4p0g8b

This is a golden opportunity to meet some amazing teachers and coders. We’ve had some incredibly diverse audiences in the past, and this time should be no different. But it’s also a chance to ask questions about the material, and how we teach perseverance and determination. It’s going to be intense, with lectures and workshops in the morning. Then we’ll have a bit of homework and some showcases, group discussions in the afternoon. You’ll get the chance to meet the instructors in smaller groups to ask pointed questions or just have a chat. And each evening we have a special guest of some stripe scheduled.

So if you’re a teacher, you’re more than welcome to come along with us! Sign up at the registration link above, make sure you have a Mac handy, and we’ll start you on your coding adventure.

If you have any questions, feel free to join our Teaching Swift Slack instance, where you can drop me a note.

I hope to see you the first week of March!