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As the technological world progresses, students familiar with computer programming languages have an unequivocal advantage in their ability to understand and interact with the digital world. Through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, iPads and MacBooks were distributed to schools around the state in 2017.
To help local educators learn how to best utilize these tools with their students, Washington County Community College (WCCC) recently hosted a no-cost workshop Expanding Technology Immersion Using Apple Everyone Can Code.
The two-day workshop was open to educators at both the middle school and high school level. It was divided into two tracks: one for iPad schools and the other for MacBook schools. The iPad-based track focused on utilizing Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app, which teaches how to code in a fun, immersive 3D world. The MacBook track explored the Swift programming language and how it can be used to teach students how to develop apps on their own. No familiarity with programming was required on the part of the educators, just a willingness to learn.
The workshop was brought to WCCC by Nichole Sawyer, the college’s Dean of Workforce and Professional Development. She sat in on an Everyone Can Code seminar by Apple earlier this year. “It was so cool, I just wanted to bring it back to Washington County,” Sawyer said.
Sawyer sees the potential of technology as being significant for students in the county as the online capability renders its remote location a non-issue. “Simply put, we want our young people to experience these incredible opportunities,” she said. “When we think about technology – it intersects with everything that we do – in ways we cannot even imagine.”
Computer technology-savvy employees are in high demand in Maine. There are currently 1,215 open computing jobs in the state, which is 3.3 times higher than the average field. These jobs pay well, averaging $73,150 a year – significantly higher than the average of $43,260.
Through workshops like Apple’s Everyone Can Code, Sawyer hopes to expand exposure for local students and encourage interest in the field. “Our goal is to weave technology skills into everything we do, resulting in learners who are technologically oriented, savvy, and curious,” she shares. “We are also hoping to educate and promote IT as an attractive and viable field of study and work with many new stackable industry credentials coming soon at WCCC.”
For more information about WCCC’s upcoming technology-related programs, contact Nichole Sawyer at 214-7988 or firstname.lastname@example.org.