Chicago — Apple today announced a new collaboration with Chicago Public Schools and Northwestern University to offer free professional learning to teachers across Chicago, designed to give educators the tools they need to bring coding and computer science into the classroom.
“Teachers make a world of difference in their students’ lives, and we owe so much of our own success to their creativity, hard work and dedication,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “At Apple, we believe every student should have the opportunity to learn to code and we are thrilled to help provide new learning opportunities for Chicago-area teachers so they can bring coding into their classrooms.”
Together, Apple, Chicago Public Schools and Northwestern University will establish a Center for Excellence at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago, which will serve as a teaching and learning hub to introduce high school teachers to Apple’s Everyone Can Code curriculum. This collaboration will help expand opportunities for local teachers, giving them new expertise to share with their students. Teachers will also have the opportunity to be trained on the App Development with Swift course in an effort to help address the national shortage of high school computer science teachers.
This effort is an extension of an existing collaboration between Apple and the city of Chicago to bring coding opportunities to Chicago’s nearly 500,000 students through a citywide expansion of Apple’s Everyone Can Code program.
“There’s no better place than Chicago Public Schools — the first urban school district to make computer science a graduation requirement — to see the benefit that computer science instruction is having on students,” said Dr. Janice K. Jackson, CEO of Chicago Public Schools. “Our innovative collaboration with Apple and Northwestern will prepare more educators to lead 21st Century classrooms and help ensure Chicago students have the resources, support and high-quality instruction needed to become tomorrow’s leaders.”
Apple will develop the teacher training in collaboration with Northwestern University, leveraging decades of research and experience. Professors from Northwestern will lead the sessions. Teachers will gain expertise in the Everyone Can Code curriculum, a free program designed by Apple to help students of all ages and backgrounds learn how to code, starting with basic coding concepts and advancing to tools for building fully functional apps.
“We strive to bring Northwestern's research, teaching, and service missions together in our local communities to make lives better in our hometowns of Chicago, Evanston and beyond,” said David Figlio, Dean of Northwestern's School of Education and Social Policy. “By collaborating with visionary companies like Apple and the education experts in the Chicago Public Schools, we have the chance to do something transformative for Chicago and the world.”
In addition to free professional learning sessions at the Center for Excellence, participating educators will also have access to in-school coaching and mentorship opportunities to ensure they are comfortable teaching the complete Everyone Can Code curriculum. Apple will provide iPads, Macs, carts and accessories to support the hands-on learning at the Center for Excellence.
Swift is Apple’s powerful and intuitive programming language that gives developers the freedom and capabilities they need to create the next generation of cutting-edge software. Popular apps including Airbnb, KAYAK, TripAdvisor, Venmo and Yelp are all created with Swift.
The app economy has generated more than 1.5 million jobs in the US and more than 64,000 jobs in Illinois alone. The demand for coding skills continues to grow, with more than 500,000 programming and coding positions available in the US as of August 2017. Since the launch of the App Store in 2008, US app developers have earned over $16 billion in App Store sales.