Technological World for January 12, consumer tech: BMW's iX Flow changes colour, Apple's resources for teachers teaching coding

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BMW’s concept electric vehicle also makes use of electric ink and Apple’s got more resources to help teachers who want to add coding to their curriculum.

CES 2022: BMW concept car changes colour on the fly

Car manufacturers never skip an opportunity to show off what they’re doing, and CES is no exception. There was plenty of electric vehicle news this year, but what caught my eye was a cosmetic feature in the BMW iX Flow: E Ink.

The four door SUV, which is a full electric, is wrapped in electrophoretic technology that can change colour whenever you want.

Stella Clarke is the project lead for BMW’s new iX Flow featuring E Ink, and in the video below, she explains that one thing this enables it the ability to show messages on the body of the car. It could let you know it needed to be charged, for example, or could flash in the parking lot to let you know where it is.

The E Ink technology is similar to that used in digital readers, and while it’s currently limited to black, grey, white, and patterns, the ambition is that you’d ultimately be able to seem like you’re driving a new car every day.

Apple has free resources for teachers to help kids learn about coding

One way or another, kids across Canada are back to school this week, which means additional strain on teachers to make accommodates for omicron, public health measures, and government decisions.

Apple, which has a long tradition of supporting education, has a few resources to support teachers involved with remote learning.

There’s also the Everyone Can Create program, which provides tutorials for educators on different ways to engage students in expressing themselves through visuals and music using iPads.

Those resources are part of Apple’s broader Teacher Learning Center, which includes a calendar of activities including gatherings of teachers from around the world for Twitter chats and teacher learning opportunities.

One of the latest resources to be released is a new activity guide, Everyone Can Code Early Learners, which is a free PDF download. Intended for anyone helping children understand and learn coding, whether teachers or parents, the booklet includes three lesson plans that begin to develop the way of thinking that is required for coding.

Coding is, essentially, procedure and routine, which are things we all do everyday. With the support of these resources, teachers can use simple examples like brushing teeth or baking cookies as a way to introduce computational thinking.

Later on, kids can shift into other activities that build towards them working with Swift, the free and open-source software that is being used to program all kinds of apps.

Older and more sophisticated students can start thinking about how their app ideas can be inclusive and accessible.

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