With both Microsoft and Google announcing major new education initiatives in recent weeks, Apple today tossed its hat into the ring as well. The consumer electronics giant is now offering a full-year mobile app development curriculum for high school and community college students.
“Apple today launched a new app development curriculum designed for students who want to pursue careers in the fast-growing app economy,” the Apple announcement notes. “The curriculum is available as a free download today from Apple’s iBooks Store.”
Dubbed App Development with Swift, the offering is described as a full-year course designed by Apple engineers and educators to teach students elements of app design using Swift, one of the world’s most popular programming languages. Students will learn to code and design fully functional apps, gaining critical job skills in software development and information technology.
And the curriculum has already been adopted by six community colleges systems—the Alabama Community College System, Columbus State Community College, Harrisburg Area Community College, Houston Community College, Mesa Community College, and San Mateo Community College District—which together serve a base of over 500,000 students, Apple says. Select high schools across the United States will also begin teaching the App Development with Swift curriculum starting this fall.
Apple is in a unique position here: Swift is easier to learn than most other popular software development languages, and the firm has a tool called Swift Playgrounds that makes the language even more approachable for children and beginners.
But this course also requires Macs, which could be a stumbling block in an age in which educational institutions are increasingly turning to less expensive devices like Chromebooks.