11 Amazing New Features in Tynker to Spark Your Child’s Interest in Coding
2020 was a challenging year for everyone in so many ways but thanks to our community of young coders Tynker was able to connect and grow like never before.
In our courses and contests, millions of kids and teens around the world used their imaginations to create the most incredible apps, games, and websites. And what they’re doing with robotics, drones, and AR is equally awesome.
The power to create is truly inspiring, which is why your Tynker subscription keeps getting better because our legion of coders inspires us to keep creating too. Whether it’s developing new courses, updating our games and activities, or adding more code jams with even bigger prizes, we always want to give you our best.
We’ve been working hard this year, so let’s see what all the excitement is about:
1. Tynker Junior Added 5 Maker Studios
The 5 studios are a creative way for pre-readers to experiment, since there is no wrong answer, and any combination of code blocks that they put together will generate a result. These themed studios have open-ended coding activities in which kids can create greeting cards, make geometric and modern art, and even design mini-games.
- Art Studio – Program art with math.
- Music Studio – Compose music with code.
- Animation Studio – Tell stories with code.
- Greeting Studio – Design greetings for any occasion.
- Game Studio – Hack your own minigames.
Each sandbox features friendly voice-guided tutorials, a help system, and word-free picture blocks to motivate pre-readers to create whatever they can imagine!
Tynker Junior also includes 5 adventure courses with over 200 coding challenges, while introducing kids to basic programming concepts such as sequencing, conditionals, events, parameters and loops.
2. Doctor Who!
Tynker joined forces with BBC Learning to create the Doctor Who HiFive Inventor Coding Kit, a programmable Internet of Things mini-computer designed to get kids coding, featuring the voice and star of the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker!
Though the HiFive Inventor isn’t part of your paid subscription, it’s always been our mission to create fun and inspiring products for young coders to support their imaginations and ambitions. As in previous partnerships with companies like Mattel (Hot Wheels & Barbie), we were honored to team up with the good people at BBC Learning. The HiFive Inventor is available on Amazon.
3. We Added 2 New Courses!
- Ada’s Adventure: (ages 7+) Learn to code while you help Professor Ada defeat Dr. Glitch with math and problem-solving skills.
- Creative Coding – (ages 8+) Learn to code while you explore Art, Animation, Music, and Game Design with 63 programming activities.
4. All-New Tynker Workshop!
This update improves the speed of Tynker Workshop and addresses many improvements based on the feedback we’ve received from users like you. When you create a new project or launch a coding exercise, the first thing you’ll notice is an increase in speed and a sporty new look. Behind the scenes, we’ve overhauled the foundation so that we can bring you new features faster.
- The Level Editor & Platformer Blocks – The Level Editor lets you drag-and-drop game elements visually and create fun levels super fast. And The Platformer Blocks help you code platformer actors that can move left and right.
- The Debugger Tool – You can use tools called debuggers to help you find and fix bugs while coding.
- The Expression Builder – With our newly launched Expression Builder, you can just type your expression in text to see it simultaneously being composed to blocks.
- Minecraft tools upgraded – Deploying your mods in IoS 13 and higher got a whole lot easier with our upgrade to the Mod Creator and Tynker apps.
- Upgraded UI, speed, and performance – We’ve made significant improvements to the tools and infrastructure so that Tynker Workshop and other tools load faster in your browser.
- Multilevel support – Now you can build multilevel games easily by simply adding a new level. There are also additional blocks to switch levels.
5. Interest-Based Learning Paths
With Interest-Based Learning Paths, your child can select a programming level and course track from the Settings (Gear icon) area of their dashboard. This configures the dashboard to match all their activities to their programming level and interests. Students can change these options at any time. Currently, kids can choose from 6 amazing tracks:
- Art & Music
- Minecraft Modding
- Game Design
- Minecraft Game Design
- Robotics & AR
- Advanced Coding
In addition, Tynker offers seasonal projects, community challenges, coding competitions, hundreds of puzzle levels, and great do-it-yourself projects!
6. Our Music System is Amped Up!
At Tynker, we believe that music is a learning path that blends perfectly with coding — you might even say they work in perfect harmony — which is why we’re excited to be at the forefront of a new creative medium combining music and code.
This year we’ve added over 100 different types of musical instruments to our sound system. Plus, the Play Sound block now supports playing MIDI files, so you can play your favorite tunes from radio, movies, and video games in Tynker.
7. Video Tutorials
Go to our YouTube page to find a fantastic new way of learning with our video tutorials. We’ve recently added video tutorials in Brick Breaker, Soundscape, and more!
8. Code Jams!
This year we added to our super successful Tynker Summer Code Jam with ones to mark Halloween and the winter holidays, and the response was incredible. We had over 40,000 submissions and handed out over $10,000 in prizes to young coders all over the world.
We were so impressed with the amazing entries this year and choosing our winners was no easy task! Here’s a gif from the Grand Prize ($2,000) Winner of our Summer Code Jam, Richie (RCT1504): Augment Your Reality.
9. Tynker’s New STEM Activities
Tynker has new STEM-related coding activities for home users that we’re excited to share with you. A STEM education is great for kids and teens because it fosters creativity, builds resilience, encourages experimentation, and exposes them to technology, an expanding field that will open them up to countless job opportunities.
10. Age-Based Dashboards
With age-based learning paths, your child can select the appropriate course based on interest and level of difficulty from their dashboard. We usually recommend starting with one of the introductory courses listed below before exploring other courses. For more information, check out our Quick Start Guide for Parents.
11. Hour of Code
Tynker has been fine-tuning online learning since 2013 when we participated in our very first Hour of Code, part of Tynker’s initiative to support a community of teachers trying to bring code and computer science to every student. This year, we hosted another full week of livestreams with special guests from NASA, an amazing Code Jam competition with big prizes, and, of course, our collection of 40+ free Hour of Code puzzles and projects. So, to all the educators who offered Hour of Code to their students, thank you for making this year another great success!
Tynker is proud to have won numerous awards this year:
The Creativity Never Stops with Tynker!