Welcome to Day Eighteen of the 2020 Appvent Calendar!
Swift Playgrounds is one of the best applications for teaching coding. This month the global community once again celebrated the importance of learning how to code. My school in Japan participated in the Hour of Code event and I used Swift Playgrounds during my English lessons as can be seen on my Twitter account below:
In my English classes, we have #ComputerScienceEducationWeek events during this week. iPad that Ss use is in English mode. Then, English is used in #SwiftPlaygrounds. Ss try to code while reading English sentences. Good job! #AppleEDUchat #everyonecancode #ade2020 @AppleEDU pic.twitter.com/KUmJOZoAam
— Junichi Nakamura (@lcoffeeprincel) December 8, 2020
As many of our readers will know, Swift Playgrounds can be used for not only teaching coding but also for teaching thinking skills and problem-solving in general. In fact, it can be adapted to any learning process. This is what inspired me to incorporate it into my English lessons.
Most people who have already met the app will have enjoyed developing their coding skills by moving a cute character byte to accomplish a variety of given goals. This process helps students think and articulate how to solve different problems.
However, beyond these tasks, there are so many other options available in the app. There are also Challenges, Starting Points and content from third-party publishers.
Every Saturday night, I join a Swift Coding Club with ADE friends in Japan. Last week, our task was to make a game called “Never say 30.” The rule was simple. We had to count up by between 1-3 each time a person said 30. We had to resolve the process of the game step by step and to solve this we created a flowchart for how to code this program in Swift Playgrounds.
This training is beneficial for teachers because if we know how to think computationally, then we will be able to revise our teaching styles and add those teaching methods into our regular classes. The link below is a sample of the code we co-created:
Today’s entry on the Appvent Calendar was written and shared by Junichi Nakamura who can be followed on Twitter here. Nakamura says of himself:
I worked in public schools for 28 years. This March, I started a new role as an Education Innovation Center Deputy Director and English teacher in a private junior high school. I became an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2015. I’m continuously practising and challenging myself to learn how to use new technologies in the classroom so that I can develop a culture of innovation within my school. Lately, I’ve been interested in XR technologies and thinking about how we can use these tools effectively. One of my hobbies is to interact with teachers and educators all over the world. I believe as teachers we should think about the different ways in which we can give children more chances to think, discover, feel and express themselves.