Shiny Object: Tynker, Game For Kids That Teaches ProgrammingCecily Kellogg
This is so cool.
Tynker is “a new computing platform designed specifically to teach children computational learning and programming skills in a fun and imaginative way.” In other words, it’s a game that makes it fun for kids to learn how to program.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Tynker’s founder explains why he created the platform.
Tynker co-founder and CEO Krishna Vedati, a parent himself, says he was inspired to start the company after being disappointed with the “learn to code” options out there for children today. “My 9-year old son went to a programming camp at Stanford. It cost $1,100,” he tells us. “They make them build a game for two weeks. He comes home and shows the game, but he doesn’t know any basics about how to build a program. That’s the wrong way of learning anything.”
Ideal for kids from third to eight grade, Tynker allows kids to “drag and drop” programming elements to make their creations (yes, similar to Scratch). The game does get harder as kids get older, allowing kids to grow with the game. Teachers love the game too; Jeanie Smith, a middle school computers instructor says on Tynker’s site,
Tynker has brought a whole new world of computational thinking to my classroom. Students love the interface, graphics, and capabilities. As a teacher, I appreciate the format and delivery of lessons, the ease of setup and of getting started, as well as the engagement of the class whenever students are creating things with Tynker. It’s a stellar new partner for computing teachers everywhere.
Sadly, Tynker isn’t yet ready for private use (please, Tynker, you’ve got a world full of home schooled kids that will want to get their hands on this – hurry up!) and is hoping to expand into the high school years as well. I can’t wait; as the mother of a daughter, I want to expose my daughter to as much STEM focused education as she can get. Definitely check Tynker out!