It’s common knowledge that young kids can acquire foreign languages extremely rapidly. How about the computer vernacular?
Education experts are putting pressure on schools to introduce students to programming concepts. Teachers can now access a slew of new apps and online tools, which have emerged in recent years to teach children to code. Tynker is one of the best known of the bunch, as it’s specifically designed for classroom and at-home learning.
The tasks in Tynker’s lessons are kid-appropriate
On the Tynker website, parents or teachers can enroll students to access a variety of web-based course content, such as games, quizzes and interactive tutorials. Parents pay between $30 and $50 per course. Rates for schools vary depending on the content and classroom size.
Tynker claims its online learning service is used by teachers in 8,000 schools across the United States.
In its first year, Tynker has yet to release any mobile applications, despite the persistent demand from parents. But the startup plans to rectify that at the upcoming South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Tx. On March 3 at SXSW, Tynker will launch is iPad application.
One educational game — the Puppy Adventure — will be available free of charge, but parents will need to pay to $1.99 a pop (or 2.99 for the set) to download The Lost in Space and Sketch Racer adventures. These premium puzzles offer additional levels and new programming concepts.
“Our iPad app has many fun, story-based puzzles that progressively introduce programming concepts such as sequencing, repetition and conditional logic,” said Srini Mandyam, Tynker’s cofounder and chief technology officer. Prior to starting Tynker, Mandyam worked at large corporate giants like AT&T and Motorola, and as an investor and board-member to various startups.
“Programming is one of the most valued skills in the 21st century. In which case, no age is too early to learn,” the Tynker team wrote in a blog post.
The startup launched in April of 2013 with a sizable $3 million in seed funding from 500 Startups, NEA, Felicis Ventures, and a slew of other angels and institutions.