Swift Playgrounds expands coding education


Students control real world devices using Apple’s Swift Programming language

Apple has announced that Swift Playgrounds, its educational coding app for iPad, will offer a new way to learn to code using robots, drones and musical instruments. Swift Playgrounds is designed for students and beginners learning to code with Swift, Apple’s programming language for building apps.

Apple is working with device makers to make it easy to connect to Bluetooth-enabled robots within the Swift Playgrounds app, allowing kids to programme and control popular devices, including Lego Mindstorms Education EV3, the Sphero SPRK+, Parrot drones and more. The Swift Playgrounds 1.5 update is available as a free download on the App Store now.

More than 1 million kids and adults are using Swift Playgrounds to learn the fundamentals of coding with Swift, according to the company. “More than one million kids and adults from around the world are already using Swift Playgrounds to learn the fundamentals of coding with Swift in a fun and interactive way,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering. “Now they can instantly see the code they create and directly control their favourite robots, drones and instruments through Swift Playgrounds. It’s an incredibly exciting and powerful way to learn.”

With Swift Playgrounds, it’s easy to connect to popular third party devices, like Lego Mindstorms Education EV3, said Esben Stærk Jørgensen, president, Lego Education. He commented: “Today we’re combining efforts with Apple to provide even more students around the world with the opportunity to learn how to code. We’re pairing the familiar Lego bricks and our hands-on approach to playful learning found in Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 with Swift Playgrounds’ powerful learning platform so now anyone can programme their Lego Mindstorms creation with real Swift code.”

With Swift Playgrounds, anyone can programme and control these popular devices from within the app:Lego Mindstorms Education EV3; Sphero SPRK+ Robot, a robotic ball, rolls, turns, accelerates and changes colours. Sensors provide feedback when Sphero hits an obstacle, and all of it can be controlled with Swift code; Parrot Mambo MiniDrone wityh its Airborne and Rolling Spider drones that can take off, land, turn and perform aerial figures like flips, all under the control of code users create; Ubtech Jimu Robot MeeBot Kit that lets kids programme their buildable robot to walk, wave and dance; Wonder Workshop Dash Robot, an exciting, hands-on learning robot for students, designed to teach the fundamentals of coding, creative problem solving and computational thinking; and Skoogmusic Skoog 2.0, a tactile cube that enables children of all abilities to have fun exploring, creating and playing music with Swift code.


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