Why Tynker?

Why should kids learn how to code?

We, at Tynker, believe that coding is the new second language for kids. It's a life skill — one that will help propel our kids to become the next generation of innovators and leaders. It's a potent tool that will enable kids to make better decisions, solve problems, save lives… to change the world! It's a "great equalizer" with the power to can change an individual’s economic trajectory. And, like any language, coding can be learned at a young age... with extraordinary results.

What is Tynker?

Tynker is a powerful visual programming language for kids. Kids snap together visual code blocks to create programs. When comfortable, they can see and understand the real code behind the visual blocks, as these blocks directly translate to JavaScript, one of the most popular programming languages in the world.

How do kids learn with Tynker?

Tynker provides an end-to-end solution that easily and successfully teaches kids how to code, as they create games and animated projects. When kids get started with Tynker, they'll

  • Learn to code using Tynker’s own visual programming language, featuring visual drag-n-drop logic blocks that eliminate the need to understand programming syntax.
  • Learn on their own with self-paced lessons and interactive tutorials are designed to build early confidence with programming, while guiding and inspiring them to advance their skills.

When kids are ready, the solid foundation in programming acquired when building games and animations using Tynker, prepares them to learn any mainstream object-oriented programming language, like Javascript and Python.

What is STEM?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Schools are focusing more and more on these subjects, recognizing their importance in today’s high-tech economy.
President Obama has launched a campaign called "Educate to Innovate." It’s a call to action for schools, businesses and nonprofits to increase and improve STEM education across the US. We’re answering that call.

What is Computational Thinking?

Computational thinking is a problem solving process. It includes knowing how and when to use computing tools, knowing what steps you need to take to solve a problem, and logically organizing and analyzing data. For a more in-depth explanation, click here.

What are the activities that kids can do with Tynker?

Among other things, kids can use Tynker to build games, tell stories, and create projects using what they learn in school. In this way, students reinforce learning and be creative at the same time.

What can kids do with Tynker?

Tynker provides a game-like environment for kids to create their own games and animated projects, while learning to code along the way. Filled with challenges, badges and unfolding storylines, kids are engaged in hands-on creation as they build knowledge of programming basics. Kids' creations are real web apps that can run in any browser – and as kids gain programming experience, they can use Tynker's powerful development tools to create any apps they want. With Tynker, kids can learn and be creative at the same time.

How is Tynker easy and simple for a child to get started?

Tynker offers interactive videos and guided tutorials to get kids started in a simple and focused way, and give them a structured path to success. Also, Tynker is visual, self-paced, and designed to deliver progressively more challenging hands-on activities that build their knowledge of programming in a seamless way. Kids can’t get lost, not knowing what to do.

How does Tynker teach programming?

Using visual code blocks, Tynker guides kids through programming concepts – such as loops, conditional logic, sequencing, and algorithmic thinking. In the early lessons, kids are presented with the correct set of blocks required to make something happen – kids need to use the blocks efficiently and effectively to create the desired result. As kids gain the skills needed to handle more complex situations, they are given more blocks and eventually work their way into DIY mode – where they can create their own projects, their own way.

What skills will students learn when using Tynker?

Students will learn how to tell a good story, logically sequence events, and model real situations. They’ll increase their technical proficiency. In addition, they’ll also develop their algorithmic and design thinking abilities.
Tynker's goal is to provide every child with a solid foundation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) thinking abilities to prepare them for 21st century degrees and careers.

What is the right age to start Tynkering?

Anyone can Tynker! There’s no "right" age to learn how to code. We typically find that 3rd grade students, who can read, write, and understand cause-and-effect relationships, are perfect candidates to start Tynkering. However, kids as young as 1st grade have successfully created projects with Tynker. And 8th grade+ students motivated by the game-like Tynker development environment, quickly progress to take advantage of the open-ended creativity tools that allow them to create their own games and animated projects.

Using Courses

What is a Project?

A project is the repository of all the code, media and other resources needed to build and run your product. Some projects have built-in tutorials that guide you through the project.

What is a lesson?

A lesson is the basic unit of instruction in Tynker. A lesson is comprised of one or more projects. Some of these projects are for review that students can “watch and learn” from. Others are puzzles they need to solve or complete unfinished projects to master specific skills.

What is a lesson plan?

A lesson plan is a series of lessons that you may group together to plan your curriculum for a classroom. You may have a different lesson plan for each classroom or share a single lesson plan across several classrooms.

How do I create a project and save it?

You’ll see a button to create a new project on Tynker’s main page after you log into your account. Save it under “File>Save Project” or by pressing ctrl+S.

What is the tutorial mode for a project?

A tutorial is guided mode, where you can recreate the whole project in steps from the beginning all the way to completion. The in built tutor will guide you through the process. Projects that have a tutorial mode will display a “Learn” option in addition to “Open”.

How do I create lessons?

You can create a lesson by visiting Tynker’s home page after logging in. You’ll see a button on the right-hand side that says “New Lesson.” Drag the projects you want to include in the lesson, indicate whether you want the students to review the lessons or to work on the projects and submit them to you, save it to your lesson plan.

How can I create my own project and make a lesson out of it?

First, create the project(s) that you want to include in your lesson. Then, when you create your lesson, you’ll be able to drag those projects (find them under “Create”) into your lesson.

What are the sharing and publishing options for a project?

As a teacher, you can publish projects to the Class Showcase.

What happens if I assign a project?

When you assign a project to a classroom or any individual, it is added to their lesson plan and the students see it in their Classroom view.

Can I send a lesson from one classroom to another?

Yes you can! Just use the Assign button on the lesson, and you should see a dropdown of all your classrooms in the “To” field. You can assign it to a different class or a specific set of students.

What are other teachers doing? Can I share lesson plans with them?

Not at this time.

Managing Students

Do I need to set up a classroom?

Yes. You'll need it in order to assign projects to your students.

How do I create a classroom?

Click on the "Classroom" tab at the top of the page to get to your dashboard of all classes. At the right-hand side you'll see a button that says "Add Classroom." Give your classroom a name such as "2pm Hackers" or "5th Grade Room 17"; Select their grade. Once you select the grade you will be presented with lesson plan options. Choose the appropriate lesson plan and create the class.
Remember — you can have multiple Tynker classrooms per physical class. This helps if you have students who have different levels of experience with programming. If students are having trouble, for example, you can assign them more straightforward projects. Conversely, if they've pick up the material faster than expected, you can assign more challenging ones.

How do I delete/rename a class?

Visit the “My Classes” dashboard page under the “Classroom” tab. On this tab, you will see a section for each classroom that you have created. You can delete a class, rename a class, or enter grade level information by clicking on the gear icon next to the class code on each classroom section

How do I create student accounts?

First select the classroom on the dashboard. You will see several tabs associated with the classroom. In the "Students" tab you'll see a blue button that says "Add Students." This allows you to add students to your classroom.
There are three ways to set up student accounts:

  • If your students have Gmail accounts already, send them this link http://www.tynker.com/schools and ask them to login with your class ID, which can be found at the top left-hand corner of the page.
  • You can also sign your students up for direct accounts with Tynker. Just enter their name and we'll assign them a username and password.
  • Alternatively, you can upload a CSV file with the students you want to import. The first row should be the labels for the subsequent rows. Use "first name" for the first name, "last name" for the last name, "username" for a desired username or email, "password" for desired password.

How do I delete students in my classroom?

Click on the checkboxes next to the students' names. Then select the "Delete Selected" option from the dropdown box under the "Class Code".
Please note that when you delete a student, you won’t be able to see nor access their projects in “Class Projects” anymore. Students, however, will still be able to log into their accounts, access their projects, and Tynker normally. They just won’t have access to your classroom.

Can I create multiple classrooms?

Yes! In fact, we encourage it.
You can even have multiple Tynker classrooms per physical class. This helps if you have students who have different levels of experience with programming. If students are having trouble, for example, you can assign them more straightforward projects. Conversely, if they've pick up the material faster than expected, you can assign more challenging ones.

How do I view student’s projects?

First select the classroom on the “My Classes” dashboard under the “Classroom” Tab. Then view your students’ projects by clicking the “Projects” tab of the selected classroom.

How can I share student projects with their parents and peers?

You can use Tynker’s Showcase feature to share awesome student projects with their parents and the rest of the class. Just go to the "Projects" tab of the classroom. Under each student project you'll see a button that says “Add to Showcase.”
You can access your class showcase by clicking the link on the left-hand side of the page. There, you can preview and publish your students’ work! At the time you add the project to the showcase, a snapshot of that project is created for your showcase. This way, if the student changes the project, the showcase still reflects the version that you approved. If you need to update a project with the student’s latest changes, simply remove the project and add it again to the showcase.

My students have school-issued Google accounts. How do they join my classroom?

Just send them this link http://www.tynker.com/schools and ask them to login with their school issued Google login id and then when prompted, enter the class ID, which can be found associated with each classroom on the dashboard.

What do the students see when they login?

Students sign in to a dashboard of their own, and see all the classrooms that they are associated with. If you are the only classroom that they are a part of, they will see that classroom icon only. Once they go into that classroom, they see all the lessons that you have assigned. They need to click on each lesson and follow the instructions to complete the lesson. As a teacher, you can experience the student’s view of a lesson. Click on “Student View” in any lesson to find out their lesson experience.

How do I feature all projects from my classroom into a portfolio?

Go to the "Projects" tab in any classroom and select the projects that you want to publish to the Class Showcase. You can share the showcase with the students or parents.

How do I share my creations on a social network?

The link to the Class Showcase is a public page that is accessible to anyone. This page can be tweeted or shared with anyone on a social network. The page displays the projects that you selected along with the first name of the author. Once you share the project in a showcase, anyone including parents, teachers or students can share the showcase as well as individual projects on a variety of social networks.