Apple is expanding its coding initiative to schools across the United States for the school year 2018-2019. The move will benefit several student groups.
Everyone Can Code
On Thursday, May 17, the company announced that it would be partnering with educators to bring Everyone Can Code to blind and deaf students. Apple will provide the educators with its Swift program. The program gives users the ability to learn programming skills. The company designed the Everyone Can Code initiative for kindergarteners to college students.
Swift Playgrounds, Voiceover, And Other Accessories
Teachers will be able to guide students through Swift Playgrounds. The program allows students to learn coding basics with the help of problem-solving. They would also be able to control characters' movements on the iPad. There is also an App Development feature that would help users build apps using the iOS software.
In addition to Swift, there is also VoiceOver. It acts as a screen reader that understands hand movements, which will help students who are blind or have poor vision. Also, VoiceOver can describe the activities that are on the iPad screen. Once VoiceOver integrates with Swift, the company stated that Swift Playgrounds would become accessible for the students.
For deaf students, Apple added numerous accessibility features to the iPad. Several components that will help the students include closed captions and the opportunity to type to Siri. Everyone Can Code also supplies iPhone compatible hearing aids. Schools in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas are expected to receive the software.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day
The announcement of Everyone Can Code expansion coincides with Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Apple will commemorate the special occasion by hosting events at both its corporate headquarters and retail stores. Apple CEO Tim Cook used this day to share that he hoped that Everyone Could Code could continue to expand.
"We created Everyone Can Code because we believe all students deserve an opportunity to learn the language of technology. We hope to bring Everyone Can Code to even more schools around the world serving students with disabilities," said Cook in a statement.
The technology company narrowed their search for Apple's new headquarters to either Northern Virginia or North Carolina. Apple reportedly told Northern Virginia economic development officials that it would need 4 million square feet to its new offices. Company leaders also targeted North Carolina's 22-million-square-foot Research Triangle Park. The location is close to North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina.
Apple is also expanding its self-driving car unit in California. It has registered 55 autonomous vehicles with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Four months ago, only 27 cars were registered with the government agency. Now, 83 company employees are also certified to operate the vehicles.
Tech Times reached out to Apple for a comment on this story.