Apple is joining in on Computer Science Education Week with coding workshops and special events in its retail stores.
On December 11, U.S. Apple Stores will hold an "Hour of Code" workshop, aimed at teaching children the basics of computer programming. Availability is limited, however, and participants will need to sign up through Apple's website. (Additional events are happening at schools and other institutions around the country, and online tutorials are available as well.)
Apple is also holding special events at several of its larger Apple Stores around the world. Visitors to the Apple Store in New York's SoHo district, for instance, can listen to Hopscotch CEO Jocelyn Leavitt on December 10, and TouchPress co-founder Theodore Gray is scheduled to speak at Apple's Chicago store on December 8. For those who can't make it, Apple has curated a collection of apps, books and podcasts on coding in the Apple Store.
The code education push is spearheaded by Code.org, which launched in early 2013. Since then, more than 53 million students have participated in the Hour of Code, creating more than 3 billion lines of programming. Those participants are split almost evenly by gender, with 51 percent boys and 49 percent girls.
Code.org estimates that 1.4 million computer science jobs will be available in the next decade, with only 400,000 American graduates qualified enough to fill them.
The story behind the story: Apple was notably absent from Code.org's initial efforts last year, even as well-known tech figures such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates appeared in a short film on the project. Given that Steve Jobs was a major inspiration for Code.org, and the organizations efforts have gained traction, it's about time Apple joined in.
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