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Mar 01 2015 - 07:00 PM
Tynker
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Tynker is a coding platform for older elementary school students. The mobile app is available on Google Play and the App Store. The user has two options on the mobile app, to play games or create games. To play a game, the user can choose from one free option or purchase new games. In order to create a game, Tynker provides the user with game kits, samples, and a "start a new project" option. Detailed instructions are provided in both the games and create options. The coding game provides the user with hints and awards points and stars. Each level is timed, the number of hints provided is recorded, and the number of coding instructions used is documented. Self-paced coding courses are also available for purchase at $50 per course.

Pros:

Tynker is visually stimulating and easy to understand. The games are rewarding for a number of reasons. The user drags and drops to write the code and instantly experiences the outcome. This is accomplished with the use of Codey, a cute monster, who is instructed to walk and jump down a path. As the user advances through the levels, different coding methods and instructions are provided (i.e., walk, jump, repeat number of times, repeat until, repeat while not). The user can replay games in order to successfully code in a shorter amount of time, with fewer hints, or to receive more points. This allows for repetition and improvement.

Cons:

The coding instructions are written out and the user only has to drag and drop the instructions. While this is great for an introduction to coding, writing out code is essential to the understanding of programming, so it might be better for Tynker to build this functionality into intermediate and advanced levels.

Our Takeaway:

Tynker is a great way to introduce young children to coding through gamification. While the user is not writing out the code, dragging and dropping the right code into the right spot is a great way to establish the essentials of programming. The beauty of Tynker lies in the instant application of the code through moving Codey around the screen and advancing through levels.

Image: Screenshot via Tynker

|By: Alexandra Lederman|932 Reads