The original “Sesame Street” TV show taught preschoolers basics like numbers and letters, but Apple’s new Sesame Street-themed show will instead focus on teaching kids coding basics. Introduced onstage today at Apple’s press event by none other than Big Bird himself, the Sesame Workshop-produced show is one of the new arrivals to Apple TV+, the company’s just-announced streaming TV service and Netflix rival.
The new kids’ show will focus on coding, because “coding fosters collaboration, critical thinking skills and is an essential language that every child can learn,” Apple announced today by way of a muppet called Cody, who has learned to speak in PR soundbites.
“By teaching preschoolers about coding, we’re giving them the opportunity to change the world!,” the muppet exclaimed.
The show will also have “cool music” and “funky dance moves,” Cody added.
Apple, of course, directly benefits by helping inspire the next generation of coders, as its ecosystem of apps — and the billions of dollars they generate — are built by millions of third-party developers. For Apple to retain a dominant position in the app industry, it needs to continue to build out its pipeline of new coders.
To date, the company has been pushing its coding language, Swift, by hosting educational sessions at Apple Stores, funding school programs and nonprofit initiatives, offering course materials to teachers, and through its own learn-to-code app, Swift Playgrounds. But this new kids TV show is designed to spark interest in programming at an even earlier age.
“You’re helping kids grow up to be smarter, stronger and kinder,” said Big Bird to Cody, touting the series onstage at the press event.
Because Apple didn’t show a trailer for the series, it’s unclear how the coding tutorials will be presented to viewers. But at a high level, it will use the big ideas behind coding to solve problems.
Apple’s deal with Sesame Workshop had been announced in June 2018, and was said to include both live action and animated TV. But none of the actual shows were announced until today. The deal, it’s worth noting, does not include “Sesame Street” itself, as HBO made a five-year deal with Sesame Workshop for that title back in 2015.