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Bring iOS App Development to Your Classroom

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : Workshop

Saturday, June 22, 8:30–11:30 am
Location: 119AB

Dr. Shaun Hurley  
Learn to how to develop iOS apps from the ground up with absolutely no experience by following a live demo. The first part of the workshop will cover the basics while the second half will be devoted to building multiple fully functional apps.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Mac
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Xcode (
iBook (
Slack (
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Computer science and computational thinking
Grade level: 9-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
Innovative Designer
  • Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.
  • Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Although there is a demand for computer science in high schools, there is a lack of qualified computer science teachers. The purpose of this workshop is to teach the basics of iOS app development to teachers that don’t necessarily have a background in computer science. Teachers will learn how to write programs in Swift (the primary programming language used in iOS app development) and implement their programs in Xcode (IDE – integrated development environment) in order to create fully-functional apps. Teachers will also learn how to implement this as a standalone class or as a supplement to a class using an iBook created by Apple. Finally, Slack, an online communication tool will be utilized throughout the session and tips on implementing it in and out of the class to support discourse will be discussed.


Introduction/overview (10-min)
Basics of Swift using Playgrounds (30-minutes)
Overview of Xcode (10-minutes)
Develop an app that utilizes the objects, such as buttons, labels, textfields, etc. (50-min)
Develop a multiplication quiz app (30-min)
Develop a rock-paper-scissors app (30-min)
Discuss implementation of iOS app development as a class (20-min)

Supporting research

I’m a doctoral student in the field of educational technology. My focus is on implementing flipped classrooms in computer science at the secondary level. There is plenty of literature to support the importance of this topic. Here is a VERY brief selection of articles:

Implementing iOS app development in a flipped classroom:
• Thomas, M. (2014). iOS app programming using an inverted classroom in a small department. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 29(5), 179-185.

Retention in computer science:
• Giannakos, M. N., Pappas, I. O., Jaccheri, L., & Sampson, D. G. (2017). Understanding student retention in computer science education: The role of environment, gains, barriers and usefulness. Education and Information Technologies, 22(5), 2365-2382.

Shortage of trained computer science teachers:
• Qian, Y., Hambrusch, S., Yadav, A., & Gretter, S. (2018). Who Needs What: Recommendations for Designing Effective Online Professional Development for Computer Science Teachers. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 50(2), 164–181.
• Menekse, M. (2015). Computer science teacher professional development in the United States: a review of studies published between 2004 and 2014. Computer Science Education, 25(4).
• Lee, A. (2015). Determining the effects of computer science education at the secondary level on STEM major choices in postsecondary institutions in the United States. Computers and Education, 88, 241–255.

More [+]


person photo
Dr. Shaun Hurley, Saint Edward's School

Shaun Hurley holds a B.S in physics, M.S. in civil engineering, and is a doctorate candidate in educational technology at UF. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a professionally certified teacher in physics and mathematics, and a level 2 Google Certified Educator. He has been teaching in the classroom for thirteen years spanning over two public and three independent schools. He has taught over twenty different high school courses in the areas of math, physics, and computer science. He has also taught game design, iOS app development, and engineering at technology camps hosted at Stanford, Harvard, and George Washington University.

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