I’ve always been determined not to be one of those parents who pushes their kids to follow in their footsteps. I want my children to be independent thinkers free to pursue their passions. As long as they work hard and find their individual paths, I won’t complain!
Both my husband and I studied Computer Science as undergrads. We each sought the analytical challenges and exciting rewards that accompany creating with code — the ability to bring an idea to life by figuring out how to tell the computer what you want it to do. Although our careers have moved us into more managerial roles, we realize that our understanding of computers has been key to riding the waves of technological evolution (that will continue at an even faster pace in our children’s future).
Realizing the fundamental importance of having our children speak the language of computers, we’ve encouraged our kids to learn to code. But it hasn’t been easy. We’ve tried free online coding courses and puzzles, well-known game design summer camps, and robotics clubs. They’ve had fun, they’ve created some cool stuff, but their knowledge has not progressed beyond a “drag-and-drop” creation process that is easily learned then forgotten.
Why did Tynker work for my kids?
- It is fun to do, and fun for kids to share what they create.
- Lots of kid-friendly graphics and animations and the ability to customize everything (including fonts and sounds) gives Tynker a broad appeal (especially across genders).
- Gives kids the headroom they need to progress quickly to more advanced concepts when they are ready.
Other parents feel the same way (hear their stories). Another parent once told me that “Tynker strikes the right balance between learning and entertainment — it’s not a chore. Tynker somehow sparks the learning and inspires them to make things from their own ideas.”
(Jennifer Apy has worked with thousands of teachers and parents to find and implement innovative technology solutions to meet students’ instructional needs. Through service as a volunteer teacher, and as an actively involved parent in elementary and middle schools, she has brought real-world experience to the go-to-market plans for ed-tech companies. Connect with @jenapy on Twitter and LinkedIn, and Facebook/jendonapy.)