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New Courses to Teach Coding on iPads
At Tynker, we believe that everyone should be able to learn how to code, a crucial 21st century skill that teaches critical thinking, supports creative expression, and provides a gateway to in-demand, high-paying jobs. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve just released two new free coding courses for kids–Space Cadet (Grades K-2) and Dragon Spells (Grades 3-5). These courses offer a fun, challenging, and creative way for all kids to learn coding.
Using Tynker with Everyone Can Code from Apple
Space Cadet and Dragon Spells, available for free on the Tynker iPad app, are incorporated into the Get Started with Code teacher guides from Apple. Space Cadet and Dragon Spells allow students to learn programming fundamentals in a fun, engaging way as they work through 115 coding puzzles and do-it-yourself projects.
Each lesson of the teacher guide introduces a computer science concept, such as algorithms, debugging, sequencing, functions, loops, or variables, and offers several “unplugged” activities that teach these concepts. Then students move to the Tynker app, where they can reinforce these concepts with coding exercises.
Both the Get Started with Code 1 and 2 teacher guides from Apple, as well as the aligned coding courses from Tynker, are available for free. And by June, these resources will also be available in Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Latin American Spanish, French, and German.
Space Cadet: Grades K-2
In Space Cadet, students in kindergarten through second grade learn the basics of programming as they solve puzzles and complete programming challenges set in space. They choose a space cadet and guide their character through around obstacles to collect items that they’ll need for the space journey, as well as to eventually find a new spaceship to get home. Get Started with Code 1 and Space Cadet teach:
- Create a Sequence
- Flexible Sequencing
- Events and Actions
- If Statements
Space Cadet is integrated with the free Get Started with Code 1 teacher guide from Apple.
Dragon Spells: Grades 3-5
Dragon Spells is built for students in Grades 3 through 5, and introduces more advanced programming topics. In this course, students choose a dragon an guide their dragon through 10 levels of challenges to collect treasure and avoid obstacles like fire and blocked paths. Get Started with Code 2 and Dragon Spells:
- For Loops
- Conditional Code
- While and Nested Loops
- Variables, Inputs, and Outputs
- Design – UI
Dragon Spells is integrated with the free Get Started with Code 2 teacher guide from Apple.
Learning Swift with Tynker
Students can even transition to the Swift programming language within Space Cadet and Dragon Spells courses by “toggling” between visual code and Swift.
In the first image, students use Tynker’s visual code blocks to solve a puzzle where the aliens move around the screen, learning about “if” statements and conditional code. In the second image, students solve the same puzzle using Swift. The two icons at the bottom of the screen allow students to “toggle” between visual code blocks and Swift as they code.
Teachers: How to Get Started
To get started, all teachers need to do is download the teacher guides and the Tynker app. We recommend that teachers also set up free accounts for themselves and their students so that teachers can monitor student progress individually and multiple students can share the same iPad.
For quick instructions on how to set up accounts and start teaching, educators can see our teacher guide.
Parents: How to Get Started
Parents can also use the Tynker app and the Everyone Can Code guides to teach programming! Just download the Tynker app and create a student account for your child to begin.
When you’re ready to do more with coding, check out our home courses.