April 11, 2013 - Mountain View, CA-Tynker (http://www.Tynker.com), a new company focused on helping children develop computational thinking and programming skills, today announced the general availability of the Tynker Learning Platform. After successfully piloting Tynker with young learners in over 20 elementary and middle schools, the company's programming skills platform is now available to teachers and schools across the United States and Canada. Teachers can set up a programming skills classroom at http://www.Tynker.com to immediately try out this highly interactive computational learning platform for free.
With pre-packaged lesson plans, hands-free interactive tutorials, advanced lesson generation tools and paperless workflow for assigning and grading programming projects, the Tynker Learning Platform is a complete next-generation solution for teaching programming and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills in schools. Tynker represents a transformative means of educating young children in critical thinking, enabling them to learn complex programming concepts through a platform that is fun and relevant to their ages and interest areas.
“We need young minds to be prepared with new ways of thinking, and to be excited and ready for the technological opportunities that will be afforded them in the 21st century,” said Krishna Vedati, co-founder and CEO of Tynker. “During our Beta program, we saw tremendous pent-up demand for a STEM skills programming curriculum that is easy to learn for teachers and students alike. We’re thrilled to make the Tynker Learning Platform generally available to teachers, so they can set up and run programming courses for students across a range of grades and skill levels.”
Tynker’s digital curriculum is an ideal mix of learning and fun, and empowers kids to engage in learning activities, which include developing animations and mobile games, crafting music, creating e-books and fictional robots, and more.
The Tynker Workshop is a web-based environment featuring an innovative visual programming language containing constructs that are very similar to modern programming languages. This enables students to create programs that range in complexity from simple to challenging, allowing them to quickly create apps in a short period of time. A built-in physics engine helps to make games realistic and puts previously learned math skills into action. Students can use built-in tools to create their very own characters and heroes, animation sequences, sound effects and music to create professional-quality games.
Since Tynker is used in schools, the built-in tutorial system enables self-paced learning with guided tutorials and puzzles. Tynker’s digital classroom view focuses kids on a “watch-learn-do” cycle of learning programming concepts and applying these skills to practical development.
The Tynker interface is very conducive to student learning, even without the physical presence of a teacher. Once a teacher assigns projects per a customized lesson plan, students can work on their projects in school or at home; they can interact in a secure and private manner with their teacher using messaging from within the platform; and they can see their own progress through assignments and a library of sample projects.
Tynker launches today with classroom management, student assessment, and themed lesson plans for different grades — enabling teachers and schools to flexibly integrate Tynker “out-of-the-box” into their curricula. Tynker is fully browser-based, device independent, and runs 100% in the cloud, which makes it is very easy to set up and use in schools. A teacher can register for Tynker at http://www.Tynker.com, add students to a virtual classroom, and set up a computer programming classroom in just minutes.
Flexibility is key to the Tynker offering. Teachers choose how they want to use Tynker – as an end-to-end platform to teach a structured programming course; as a tool to aid and enhance learning in subjects like math and physics; or as a means for student expression in projects, field trips, or creative writing.
“Tynker has brought a whole new world of computational thinking and programming experience to my classroom. Its beginning levels are basic enough to welcome all students to coding concepts, and its higher levels are sophisticated and complex enough to challenge and attract the most advanced programmers among my students,” said Jeanie Smith, Ph.D., Computer Instructor at Jordan Middle School, Palo Alto Unified School District. “Students love the graphical interface and flexible capabilities. Tynker is a stellar new partner for computing teachers everywhere.”
The Tynker platform and interface have been purpose-built for educators. Teachers with minimal or no experience with programming are able to use the Tynker platform to ensure real learning of programming concepts and skills among their students. The Tynker Gallery provides a comprehensive set of projects, so teachers can become comfortable with the platform before creating their own. Tynker Tutorials are a useful reference to quickly run through projects and, in turn, teach students who are just starting out. Educators have found class management and reporting — including the detailed and personalized dashboard view — extremely useful when analyzing students’ performance.
The standard level of the Tynker Learning Platform is free for educators. This includes a fully integrated development environment, classroom management, grading and a starter pack of programming skills lessons and more.
Tynker Premium comes bundled with a set of advanced features that makes teaching computer programming even easier, including:
Tynker Premium is priced based on the number of seats purchased for a classroom, with volume discounts for schools and school districts.
Tynker is an innovative new company focused on helping children develop computational thinking and programming skills in a fun, intuitive and imaginative way. Tynker enables teachers to provide a strong foundation in STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and math) and other critical thinking abilities preparing students for 21st century degrees, careers and lives. Tynker’s innovative visual programming language and the engaging Tynker Workshop empower kids to create highly creative and complex projects. The Tynker Learning Platform makes it easy for teachers of various backgrounds and experience levels to set up and teach a programming skills course in virtually no time at all. Educators can request an invitation at www.Tynker.com to create a programming skills classroom to begin trying out Tynker with students.