Coding with swift playgrounds!

Have you ever asked yourself ‘are computers smarter than us?’ Well, they aren’t. A computer only works if a special language tells them what to do. That language is called coding.

Coding is a series of words and other doodads that create instructions for the computer to carry out. Embedded in that is more coding, and more coding, and even more!

This year for a starting unit, we’re learning to code. We are using an app called Swift Playgrounds to help us with that. Swift Playgrounds is a database of ‘mini games’ that teach you the basics of coding. I use the term ‘mini games’ very loosely because some of the stuff is really difficult. Our class is only doing ‘Learn to Code 1’, which has a huge spectrum of difficulty,and I’m not even finished it!

For example, the first one you have to complete looks something like this;

Swift Playgrounds; Issuing Commands

You have a few options on how to move Byte, your character, to make him collect the gem. That sounds pretty easy right? Well, it gets a lot harder.


In this playground, you had to break down some of the parts of the coding, into functions. I name my functions really weird names, so you probably shouldn’t do that. But it’s still the same concept.

For our first introduction into coding, our teachers taught us ‘The Hustle‘. It was a popular dance in the ’70s. We learned the different parts in different sections with differing names, just like the code. So now every time the teachers play the music, no matter what we’re doing, we have to get up and do the hustle. I once referred to it as “sequential torture”. But it made sense why we were doing it after a while.

Swift Playgrounds is a fun way to learn how to code. You can even choose you character;


I enjoy learning while using this app, and you probably do to. ‘Cause technology is the way of the future, so you should learn how it works now, so it doesn’t TAKE OVER THE WORLD!! MWA HA HA!!

Advertisement Studies

For a while now, we have been studying advertising. We have come to pretty much the end of the unit, which is when we do our big projects. What we’ve been doing for our project is creating three different ads using the techniques we were taught in class. We are working on a tourist ad, an ad for a business, and an earthquake advocacy ad. Today I’m going to be talking about the process of creating the ads and the critique that went along with it.

First, let’s talk about the tourist advertisement, because we started it first. I decided to make the ad about a tree in my front yard that everyone can see when they drive by. Sometimes I sit in the tree and read, so I titled the ad ‘The Reading Tree’. I wanted someone in the tree, so I asked my brother. He really didn’t want to do it, but my mom told him he had to. So he whined and complained until he was in the tree. The photos only took about a minute, so I took them and left my brother to his moping. I used Phoster to make all my ads, because it seemed to work the best. I imported the photo to Phoster, added text, touched it up a bit using the app Sketches, and sent it to Showbie. Here’s my first draft;


The next day in class, we had a critiquing gallery. We faced our iPads out, so everyone could see our ads, and walked around the room. We each had 2 sticky notes, to write something helpful and specific on two different ads. Here are mine;


The helpful comment made absolutely no sense to me, so I took no heed to it. But the specific comment pointed out something I knew I had to fix, so I got right on it. This time I didn’t use Phoster, I used Canva. Canva made it so I could add a background to the text. This is my second draft;


I sent it into Showbie. By this time we were working on the other ads too. So I really had to manage my time well with this homework and various other homework from other teachers. The teacher critiqued draft two, so I fixed a few things using Canva;


I pretty much had the same process for each of my ads; use Phoster for the first draft,


Got the critique,


(Only for business ad)

And tweaked what needed tweaking,


Still more critique


And that’s where I am now! I just sent in my draft 3s, so I’m hoping they’re a success too! Enjoy.