With the release of iOS10 came a new iPad app called Swift Playground. This is Apple’s contribution to helping people, especially children, learn about how coding works. The nice thing about this kind of coding is that it is real. If you have a Mac you can download XCode and actually create apps, that you can add to the App Store (it does cost a yearly amount to have a developers Apple ID).
It introduces the logic of coding in a similar way to other coding apps, where you have to make the character move and complete tasks. You do this by selecting the correct pre-made Functions. These are free addins, the first is the fundamentals of Swift and then there is another addin called Beyond the basics. Here is a look at the fundamentals:
The Fundamentals of Swift –
This starts you off with basic commands, you add in the functions to make the character move.
It goes through the logic of using different functions to get the correct instructions. It also introduces Debugging, where it gives you a set of functions and you have to add and delete what is there to correctly move the sprite about.
It then also introduces Functions. Functions are a way to put a set of instructions together so that they can be quickly added into the code without the need to repeat a lot of code. Swift Playground shows you the basics of how Functions are written.
It also introduces Loops. Showing how you can get code to go through the same set of instructions until it reaches the end.
Another aspect it introduces is Conditional Code, that is specifying if a condition is true to something or do something else:
The next subject introducted is Logical Operators. These follow the rule of AND OR and NOT. eg. If one condition AND another condition are true then do this, if this OR this are true to this, if this is NOT true run this code.
Next While Loops are introducted. This is code that keeps repeating until the condition is no longer true:
Lastly in the Foundations of Swift algorithms are introduced.
It takes you through step by step instructions and then gives you a few tasks to demostrate. It is quick and simple, and you can go back over different areas a many times as you want. It is a good introduction to the Swift language for children and adults alike.