With a new platform recently launched, the startup Tynker is now enabling kids of different ages to learn to program. Based in Mountain View, the startup’s focus is more on getting kids to now think like programmers rather than having long coded lines written.
The curriculum of the company has in fact been piloted in more than forty schools in San Francisco Bay area and this includes both middle and elementary schools. The service is now publicly available and can be accessed by any school.
The startup was founded by Krishna Vedati who also serves as its CEO. Himself a parent, what inspired the CEO to start the startup was his disappointment with the options available for children out there. “My 9-year old son went to a programming camp at Stanford. It cost $1,100,” he tells us. “They make them build a game for two weeks. He comes home and shows the game, but he doesn’t know any basics about how to build a program. That’s the wrong way of learning anything.”, as has been reported by Techcrunch.com.
Also, current solutions do not really focus on the actual interest of kids. So in order to get their visual and creative side encouraged, the startup tries to get their interest sparked with things like character builders. It then prompts them with statements like “your princess doesn’t know how to talk,”
It then prompts them to lead their characters to walk. In this way, different methods of primitive programming are being learnt by them, without having any lines of code written.
“What we found is that for Elementary and Middle school students, traditional programming (with syntax) is boring and complex,” explains Vedati. “That is probably why programming hasn’t been introduced to early learners in the past. So to reduce this complexity, we created a ‘visual’ programming language that focuses students on learning to build logic into an application,” he says.
The programming environment can be found online in the cloud. Teachers can also benefit from its workflows and lesson plans. The startup has recently been backed by various investors like NEA, 500 Startups, Felicis Ventures, Cervin Ventures etc.