Using Swift to Teach Kids how to Code

June 18, 2014 | Stefan Mischook

UPDATE - JUNE 13 2016:

Wow, so many updates! Apple just changed the game, and now with their new Swift Playgrounds for iPad project, Swift becomes a very good choice for schools with iPads wanting to teach code.

... I will be producing support materials specifically designed to help teachers teach code with Swift. My experience over the last 5 years helping schools teach HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript with StudioWeb should come in handy!

If you are interested, or have general questions about teaching code to kids, feel free to reach out:


Now, back to the original article:

Apple's new programming language Swift, might be the perfect language to teach kids basic programming concepts and even practical app development.

Here are the reasons why:

  • Swift was designed to be easy to learn.
  • Swift is used to create apps for iOS - kids are motivated to create apps for their iPhones and iPads!
  • Though Swift programming is code based, it is still very visual because you spend a lot of time working with user interface (UI) elements for iPhones and iPads. 
  • You write Swift code with Apple's xCode 6 development software and it comes with Playground. Playground is a live interactive part of Xcode 6 that allows you to see the effects of your code in real-time. Even animations and game dynamics can be instantly seen as you write code! It's pretty fun.

Swift was Designed to be Easy to Learn and Use 

Chris Lattner (creator of Swift,) had many goals when he started working on Swift, one of them was to make learning programming easy. From his site:

The Xcode Playgrounds feature and REPL were a personal passion of mine, to make programming more interactive and approachable. 

I hope that by making programming more approachable and fun, we'll appeal to the next generation of programmers and to help redefine how Computer Science is taught.

... Once you start using Swift and Xcode 6, I think you will agree.  BTW, I will be creating a beginners Swift course for Studioweb in the future.


Stefan Mischook

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