Over the past few years, there has been a lot of emphasis on the importance of teaching children how to code and the movement to increase digital literacy has been supported by tech leaders and coding organisations alike. This is why Apple have partnered with STEM education platform Tynker to release two new game-based programming lessons to help children master the art of coding.
Both the Space Cadet and Dragon Spells courses are available to download for free via the Tynker iPad app and also include curriculum modules for teachers in iBooks:
These free courses, available through the Tynker iPad app, allow students to solve coding puzzles and create do-it-yourself projects using Tynker’s visual code blocks and the Swift programming language. Tynker’s Space Cadet and Dragon Spells courses are incorporated into the Get Started with Code 1 and Get Started with Code 2 teacher guides, available for free on iBooks.
The aim of the courses is to help kids between the ages of 5-11 become acquainted with the basics of coding before they transition to Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app. Within the curriculum, there are 115 levels of “coding puzzles and do-it-yourself projects” starting with Space Cadet for children aged 5-7 to solve puzzles set in space. Once they’ve mastered that, Dragon Spells tasks children a little older to train dragons and collect treasures while they learn coding techniques.
Apple has partnered with Tynker in the past to offer “coding camps” in Apple retail stores. Aimed at ages 8-12, these taught aspects of block-based coding and allowed kids to program Sphero robots.
Once you’ve download the Tynker app, students can share their work in an online community and teachers can keep track of their progress. Both teachers and students can create their own accounts for free.