Teacher Review for Tynker

An updated and powerful graphical programming language

Martin F.
Classroom teacher
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My Subjects Science
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
How I Use It
I teach Coding and Robotics to 7th graders full-time, and I have designed my own curriculum to do so. After review of a number of different educational coding platforms (Codecademy, Code.org, Scratch), I settled on Tynker. I now use it to support the introductory lessons for the first 3-5 weeks of my course. I use this language to help me introduce basic coding concepts to my students such as computational thinking, variables, conditionals, loops, and nested loops.
My Take
I am a big fan of Tynker, and my students really like it as well as an introduction. The "actors" available for student use, even with the free version, provide plenty of engagement and inspiration for my students. There are plenty of backgrounds to choose from as well. One of the things that I really liked about Tynker was that they really give you a fully functioning product to use for free. I can set up my own classrooms, monitor student progress, see their work from my screen, and even push out tutorials that I have created to my class. The thing you need to know about Tynker is that, like Scratch, it is a "sandbox" type of learning environment. Unless you want to pay, the curricular activities are locked and you need to create your own. For me, this was a plus, as I wanted to create my own activities (and, frankly, wasn't really impressed with the ones that I personally paid for and tested at home on my own). On the other hand, if you are uncomfortable with this content or with creating activities for computer science, you may find using Tynker a bit daunting. That said, there are plenty of activity books out there for Scratch and those activities can be easily modified for use with Tynker if you need a jump start.