Learn to code for free at an Apple Store this week

Or find out everything you've always wanted to know about coding, but were afraid to ask

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The "learn to code" movement is ramping up in full force this week, Computer Science Education Week, with major tech companies and celebrities supporting Code.org in its "Hour of Code" mission to get students of all ages to learn programming. If you'd like some free hands-on training, Apple will help you this Wednesday.

Head to any Apple Retail Store on December 11 at 5pm for a free one-hour workshop. One of the limitations of learning iOS programming is you need a Mac to do it, but by trying it out at an Apple Store, you can see what all the fuss is about and whether it's for you.

If that hour doesn't work for your schedule, there are tons of one-hour online tutorials available at Code.org, including ones taught by Mark Zuckerberg (with the Angry Birds), Bill Gates, and other top names in coding. Even more exciting for educators and students, perhaps: there are "unplugged" computer science lessons, so you can learn the programming mindset without the need for any devices (like expensive Macs).

President Obama put it this way: "Learning these skills isn't just important for your future, it's important for America's future." "Don't just buy a new video game, make one. Don't just download the latest app, help design it. Don't just play on your phone, program it."

You in?

Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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