There’s a revolution in the learning environment across the globe, and it’s ready to empower young minds to create invaluable art, apps, and software. It’s fueled by coding platforms like Tynker and MIT’s Scratch, that have lessons on coding for kids, that enable them to create intuitive projects that may have the ability to change the way we interact with technology in our day-to-day lives. In fact, it’s already happening—kids aged 7+ are learning to code with easy-to-follow lessons offered by various platforms, and they are creating and sharing amazing work.
Tynker, per se, has gained popularity among parents and schools. Till date, as per their website, 2.4 billion lines of codes have been written on Tynker by 50 million kids, across 60 thousand schools. It inculcates computer programming skills, critical thinking, and a problem-solving attitude among children with its endearing games and modules.
With it, one can also learn to create Minecraft mods, programme robots and drones that are compatible with Tynker, and undertake various STEM activities. It’s available for both home and school learning through online programming courses, mobile courses and a Minecraft Classic server.
I love how one can go step-by-step to understand a coding concept through a game or module. For example, in the Dragon Dash game, a cute dragon makes you take one step after another, telling you all the while what to do next. It encourages you when you take the right steps. The platform is available for both home and classroom learning.
Coding for kids at home
There are nineteen courses available for home learners:
Beginner Block Code courses teach programming concepts like sequencing, loops, conditioning, etc. through ‘Intro to programming’ modules including puzzles
Mod Design modules teach about creation of your own Minecraft mods
3D and Arcade Game Design modules have interactive modules for designing games
Robotics & Drones modules teach how to control robots virtually, and how to programme Lego WeDo robots and Parrot Minidrones. (You can use these affiliate links to buy your Lego WeDo kitand Parrot minidrones)
Physics modules teach programming of physics activities
Kids undertake game-based activities and projects. On the student board, kids get daily challenges that earn them XPs and trophies and unlock characters they can use in their projects.
Parents also have their dashboard, where they can see the progress and activity reports of their children, manage the subscription to the courses, and seek assistance from Tynker’s support team.
Parents can subscribe to Quarterly ($48), Yearly ($96) or Lifetime ($200) plans.
School programmes with Tynker
Schools can subscribe to various plans to enable teachers and students to learn and teach coding, and to integrate coding for kids in a school’s curriculum. It is currently being used by 60,000 schools for Grades K-8.
The programme includes:
Block and text interactive coding modules as per grades
Coding curriculum for all the grades, so that teachers do not have to worry about planning lessons
Creativity tools like ‘Tynker Workshop for students’, where they can create games, art, stories, apps, etc.
Twelve STEM modules, including problem-based learning activities that help integrate coding in a school’s curriculum. Subjects covered in this section are Life Science, Physical science, Earth Science, Maths Social Studies, and English.
Robotics and Drones’ Programming modules that let students apply the concepts they learn to bring bots and drones to life
Minecraft Mod designing modules
‘Automatic assessments of students’ skills, making class management easy for teachers
Classroom Management platform to add student accounts to a classroom. Teachers can get valuable data about a class from this tool and use that data to improve class performance.
Following are the teaching programmes offered by Tynker. For a district-wide implementation of Tynker, you can request a quote on their website.
Security:Tynker ensures that student data is secure. It’s COPPA, FERPA and SOPIPA compliant.
You can join Tynker for free, and try their fun, game-based coding lessons. To access all the lessons and functionalities, you can subscribe to one of their home or school plans.
Compared to other platforms that teach coding to kids, Tynker seems like a holistic tool that combines lessons, interactives, rewards, assessment, parent’s platform, and class management, so that learning coding is engaging and effective.