“I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.” –Steve Jobs
Ever since I started this blog, one of the things I wish I knew how to do was learn how to code. I have seen many of my blogger friends do an amazing job at building their own sites. But, let’s think beyond blogging for a moment – think about how much we utilize technology daily. For many of us, we bank and pay our bills online. We shop online. We communicate online. We conduct business online. Think about the last time you put your mobile device down for more than 24 hours. Pretty impossible, right? That’s because whether you like it or not, rapidly evolving technology is our future. So the real question is, if we are so dependent on technology, how is it that so many of us don’t know how to code?
Perhaps it starts with the fact that for most schools in America, this kind of learning is not being taught in the traditional classroom. When I was in high school, typing was a required course to graduate. In my opinion, the course requirement today should be that every student learns how to program a computer – a skill that is just as important as learning a foreign language these days. Regardless of the career path my children take, one thing is for sure – I will make it my mission that my kids learn how to code.
I was absolutely inspired by this five minute video created by the founders of Code.org, a non-profit dedicated to making computer science programs available in more schools and inspiring a generation of kids to participate in such programs.
“The vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer programming.”—Code.org
I sat down with my son to watch this video and within moments, he too was completely inspired by this mission. At eight years-old, he immediately saw the purpose for why learning to code is important and showed real interest in wanting to try.
Absolutely inspired by this video? Of course you are. Interested in getting your child to think about learning to code? Well, you’re certainly reading the right post.
Tynker is one of the best web-based apps available today that offers interactive courses for children to learn programming at their own pace. Once you register with a simple email address, you’ll have lifetime access – anytime and anywhere to learn these crucial skills. Tynker makes it so easy to learn at home and even provides a full grade based curriculum for schools.
Tynker is a complete learning system with online courses that teach programming and computational thinking to kids of all ages. You don’t need to be an expert programmer to enroll in any of these courses. In fact, they are designed to teach kids at different skill levels and at all ages. You don’t have to have any coding experience to enroll because courses have been designed to motivate and inspire kids to bring their own creative ideas to life.
“Empower the next generation of innovators. What separates those who simply have an idea from those who make their ideas a reality is the ability to program. Kids relish the challenge to become creators.” — Tynker.com
My son started the Introduction to Programming course and loves it. The courses are laid out with specific instructions and users are unable to advance to the next lesson until the previous lesson is successfully completed. There is a short quiz after each lesson to assess whether or not the user is ready to move forward. There are times when my son gets frustrated when the code doesn’t work the way he wanted it to, requiring him to go back, find the mistake and make necessary adjustments. As Steve Jobs would say, this is the kind of skill set that’s required to code – critical thinking and problem solving skills.
But the thing I love most about Tynker? There is absolutely nothing to install, download or upload to my computer. Once you login with an email address, you have full access to the course. It’s that easy!
The cost of the Introduction to Programming course is $50 for 16 lessons which users can do at their own pace. There is no time limit to perform each lesson and there is also no time restriction of when users can access the lessons. Basically, users can spread them out daily, weekly or even monthly. There is also an Intermediate Course offered that is more advanced at a price point of $30.
Tynker gives children a complete learning system for developing the kind of skill set (computational thinking and problem-solving skills) which are the fundamentals of 21st century jobs. They will absolutely need these skills in order to innovate and shape our future.
Computer programming is an incredibly empowering skill to learn. Follow Tynker on Twitter and Facebook to stay updated on the latest Tynker news and follow any of these hashtags for the latest tech news. #code #tech #programming #hourofcode #edtech #STEM
Have an iPad? Get the FREE Tynker app in the iTunes store.
What are you waiting for? Programming is the new literacy, so join the nearly 7 million other Tynkerers and get Tynkering!!
Theta Mom® abides by word of mouth marketing standards and believes in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. I was provided an Introduction to Programming course via Tynker for review. However, all opinions expressed are my own and the content of this post was not influenced. Furthermore, I am a proud supporter of code.org and firmly believe in the opinion expressed in this piece.