Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
Tynker is great to guide kids through a variety of visual programming languages, allowing them to code robots and drones, build apps and games, and explore STEAM activities. Use it in class, in an after-school enrichment program, or in a camp setting. Tynker's lessons are text-heavy, and most lack voice-over instruction and how-to videos, so it's best for strong readers. Consider letting kids work together, with more capable readers supporting classmates.
Tynker is a programming option for Minecraft: Education Edition, Lego WeDo 2.0, and Parrot Mambo Drones, so lots of custom-created excitement can be had with these platforms, too. Tynker projects can be accessed from both web and mobile versions, but the two platforms are not yet 100% compatible. Since it's fully integrated with Google Classroom, Clever Sync, and Microsoft Single Sign-On, you can connect student information systems with Tynker without requiring individual student logins or manually setting accounts.Continue reading Show less
Kids can create their own projects, collaborate with others, and share with the online Tynker community. An Admin Dashboard lets teachers manage rosters and assignments with a single Google or Tynker login. Clever integration with platforms like Minecraft, Lego WeDo, and Parrot Mambo drones makes Tynker even more relevant to kids.
As with other popular coding tools, Tynker's drag-and-drop command blocks help kids visually sequence code. But instructions are text-heavy. Strong readers who excel at following directions step by step will take to Tynker quickly, while struggling, impatient readers may skip instructions and miss out on learning. Some video tutorials are dotted throughout the lessons, but more would be helpful.
Diversity in both prefab and customizable characters has nudged up a bit, yet there's still an overall lack of diversity, and a few gender and ethnic stereotypes pop up in the character customizer. Then there's the price point: Free lessons are available, but the deep dive is only available through Tynker's paid coursework, which is an added expense.
Key Standards Supported
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.
Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.
Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.