Let’s face it kids just don’t get outside as often as they should or perhaps as often as you would like when summer time comes. All year round, really, but Apple is making the summer a place for kids that would normally lock themselves in their rooms to play with their computers, tablets, or consoles to come out to Apple Stores to learn some coding and other skills. Registration opened today and spots are going fast.
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While Apple has been offering kids the opportunity to join Apple Camp sessions in a number of cities for years, the company has added a number of sessions to its already impressive lineup of offerings. Registration opened for parents of kids aged 8 though 12 today who might be interested in taking a three-day course with others their age at Apple Stores worldwide. This extended lineup of courses will offer block-based coding concepts utilizing software from Tynker as well as allowing kids to program robots provided by Sphero.
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While Apple has offered “Hour of Code” this is a December offering, somewhat surprisingly as Apple Stores are often madhouses with holiday shopping to be done. But now as part of its summer camps, Apple for the first time will be offering “Coding Games and Programming Robots.” Spots are going quickly as Apple truly likes to keep this a hands on course and is looking to cap the attendance at a dozen kids.
Swift is growing
In addition to the camps and quite independent of them, Apple unveiled a new iPad App called Swift Playgrounds at the WorldWide Developers Conference (WWDC). Swift is, of course, Apple’s own computer language which it debuted in 2014 and as it happens when it began work on Swift Playgrounds.
Unlike the camp, Swift Playgrounds is designed for those aged 12 and beyond. I’ll admit to downloading it myself at 43 but many would argue I often act like a child.
The Apple Camp began in 2003 but at a much smaller scale. Today’s iteration and the “Coding Games and Programming Robots” session will begin with the use of Tynker’s software which is designed to introduce the kids to coding basics and concepts. Tynker just raised $7.1 million in order to expand its reach in schools and camps.
“Coding doesn’t mean anything by itself — it’s just a language. Kids need to see it working with the real world,” Tynker founder and CEO Krishna Vedati told TechCrunch following the funding round. “And it means different things to different topics — in astronomy, science, even language arts.”
Robotics was an obvious addition as well given that Tynker’s block programming teaching will ultimately help the kids program Sphero robots.
For parents who were looking to enroll their kids in iMovie Camp, have no fear, it’s still being offered and sign-up for that course also began this morning.
Sessions on iBooks will also still continued to be offered as well as new sessions that use the iPad Pro and Pencil.
Not just for the kids
During the 90 minutes that kids will be learning to code and playing with robots, parents are encouraged to hang around and learn from the Apple Store staff about setting up multiple devices in the home and learning about family focused Apple products.
The new offerings will be available next month with one each week with varying start time with “Stories in Motion with iMovie” and “Interactive Storytelling with iBooks” being offered the weeks of July 11th and July 18th respectively.
Only stores in the U.S., U.K., Canada and greater China will offer the “Coding Games and Programming Robots” camp.