We have a stack of board games in the corner of our living room shelves.

All the usual suspects are tossed on the pile from Sorry to Scrabble, Connect Four to Catan, Battleship to Backgammon. This summer we started adding some card games into the mix like Dutch Blitz, Five Crowns, and Wizard. They’ve been a fun way to spend our quarantine time together.

But there’s a different way to do game nights, a way that ties in to school learning, helps kids to be future ready, and bridges the gap between generations: coding puzzles.

With STEM being a push through school curricula, Apple has been right alongside developing curriculum perfect for the creative class.  Everyone Can Create (focussing on photos, video, drawing, and music) and Everyone Can Code (basics in a fun, engaging way) are available for free on Apple Books with two editions – one for students, another for teachers.

I had a session with Stacey Bernier recently, a teacher and digital literacy coach in Langley, BC.

Coding, he explains, is just simply giving detailed instructions to perform a task. If we want to brush our teeth, we need to open our mouth, pick up the toothbrush, open the toothpaste, put it on the brush, move around our mouth, etc. These kind of detailed instruction lists are exactly what computers need to perform the tasks we see on screen.

Coding just breaks down the complicated into simple steps.

Apple’s Swift Playgrounds is a free app you can download and learn how to code. It’s like working through a puzzle book. It’s simple enough for young kids and accessible enough for parents and educators to understand to both teach and learn. It’s a chance for you to treat coding time like reading time, or puzzle time, or board game time!

Work through a few problems each time you sit down and you can learn together. Bernier notes that when he teaches kids a coding session they almost never ask “why are we doing this?,” they just instinctively dive into the problem solving naturally.

Screen time doesn’t have to be a four letter word it can be collaborative social problem solving family time.

Go ahead, grab your iPad Pro and download the Everyone Can Code Puzzles book and the Swift Playgrounds app to get started on a brand new way to do Family Board Game Night!!

MORE ON LEARNING WITH APPLE

We have learned from the past 6 months the importance of teaching and learning from a distance and Learning With Apple covers remote learning resources to help schools, teachers and parents create engaging learning experiences for K-12 from any distance.

When you teach code, you’re not only teaching the language of technology. You’re teaching new ways to think and bring ideas to life. And coding with Swift, Apple’s powerful, intuitive, and easy-to-learn programming language, provides students fun and engaging ways to prepare for the future. Every student should have the opportunity to create something that can change the world.
Whether students are just getting started with Swift Playgrounds or ready to learn Xcode, Apple provides everything educators need to bring code into the classroom.
A Quick Start to Code 
Anyone can learn to code on iPad or Mac with these 10 activities designed for beginners ages 10 and up.
Everyone Can Code and Develop in Swift Updates
Newly updated with significant enhancements, available now on Apple Books, free. Discover the Teaching Code collection.
Everyone Can Code Resource Guide  (NEWLY UPDATED and now available in 🇨🇦)
Everyone Can Code introduces students to the world of coding through interactive puzzles, playful characters, and activities for both in and outside the classroom.
Helpful guides integrate creativity, collaboration, and problem solving. They also provide real-world examples of coding concepts that illustrate how code is used in everyday life. Using the free Swift Playgrounds app, students can learn and experiment with real Swift code, the same programming language used by professionals to build powerful apps.
Tips, Quick Guides, Creativity and Apps
Discover 30 built-in features of iPad that will save you time and make it easier to teach with iPad.
Quick Guides for Learning with Apple
From managing schedules and screen time to building a story, these quick guides will help create productive learning environments and make device set-up easy for teachers and parents.
Creativity for Kids: 
Explore 30 iPad activities for children ages 4–8+, designed to help teachers and parents keep young learners constructive and creative at home.The App Store has over 180,000 apps from education software developers. Students can discover how their world is made by touching, stretching, and twisting molecules. See the human body from the inside out. Or study, rotate, and even operate revolutionary scientific inventions.

 

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