Tynker is a site that teaches children how to program as they create games and animated projects. Students easily learn to code using Tynker’s visual programming language by solving fun puzzles and creating original projects and games. They gain a solid foundation in programming and computational thinking, which prepares them to transition to any mainstream object-oriented programming language.
Anyone can Tynker! The Tynker courses and activities are designed for students ages 5-14, because there is now “Tynker Junior” for students who are not yet reading.
Tynker is free to HCOS students. About Tynker **Anything that is advertised on the website which requires payment is NOT part of our subscription and will need to be purchased through the purchasing department.
You may be asking, “Why coding?” and here is an answer from Tynker: Why coding?
Here is information about how the Tynker site works: How Kids Learn Coding in Tynker
Lessons are designed to guide kids on a path to earning cool new badges. In each lesson, kids engage with interactive learning modules, mini-games, coding projects, and puzzles.
Cool characters introduce code blocks and how to use them.
Short clips demonstrate common actions such as deleting Actors or changing the background.
Preview the games you build in each lesson and play bonus games along the way.
Tynker courses are all free to HCOS students.
Go to this link in our school system to sign up for a first-time Tynker account: Register for Tynker
Students who already have an account in Tynker do not need to sign up again. Just email Beth Johnson to have more classes added to their “Launchpad”.
These courses are all free to HCOS students. If a student logs in and sees something which requires him or her to pay, this is not a part of our school subscription, and would need to be purchased using the student’s curriculum budget.
For Gr. 6-9 students who want to learn how to use Tynker for coding and programming, we recommend they take Mark Lamden’s online course: “Levelled Coding in Tynker”. This will enable them to learn how to use the program, and give them teacher support when they have questions. For students in the younger grades there are virtual Learning Groups which allow the Gr. 1-2 and the Gr. 3-4 students to learn using Tynker. Sign up to get eAlerts so you can register for these groups.
How to Use Tynker
Log in to Tynker and “Sign in” on the top right-hand, then going to “Student” to enter your login credentials.
Students need to do the various projects in order to complete Tynker. Just viewing the screens is not going to give them a grade in the site! The site assess their work and assigns a grade to it. Students may go back and re-do projects at any time, which will improve their grade.
Students can access their lessons by going to “My Classes”. There are a number of free activities in “Visual Coding”, “Minecraft” and “Hour of Code”. Anything marked “Unlock” is not part of our subscription. To pay for that with your curriculum budget, you would need to make arrangements with your support teacher.
- There are helpful explanations in the “Help Links” at the bottom right-hand of the student’s page, which students can access at any time.
- There are options for extra good things in the “Explore Projects” menus at the bottom middle of the page. These are available to students right away.
- Tynker support tutorials for students wishing to use Tynker.
Here is a 5-minute video to give you an idea of how Tynker can be used: Tynker Workshop Basics.
Levelled Coding in Tynker
For students in Gr. 6-9 who want to learn how to use Tynker for coding and programming, we recommend they take Mark Lamden’s online course: “Levelled Coding in Tynker”. This will enable them to learn how to use the program, and give them teacher support when they have questions. For younger students, we offer virtual Learning Groups with Mark Lamden teaching over a several-week period. (This year the groups were for Gr. 1-2 and for Gr. 3-4.) If you want to be aware of these next time they come up, you can sign up for email alerts through the Learning Groups site.
Levelled Coding in Tynker is designed to introduce students to coding and the Design Process using Tynker’s online courses and tools.
Students will start with an introduction to Tynker, learning how to use Tynker’s tools to create their own coding projects. Following this introduction students will complete one of Tynker’s levelled courses, checking in with the course teacher, whom they can access for help and support along the way. The module will conclude when students complete a design challenge in Tynker’s “Blank Project” work space.
At the beginning of the module, students will meet with the module teacher to decide which Tynker course to complete. This will ensure that students are working at the right difficulty level, based on their previous knowledge and experience level.
Students can take Levelled Coding in Tynker multiple times between grades 6 and 9. In this way, students will be able to complete many of Tynker’s courses and progress from block coding to line coding.
Students will complete one Tynker course. Tynker courses consists of 13 to 17 lessons which can take from 30 minutes to 2 hours. In addition to these lessons, student will complete 8 30-minute lessons in Moodle.
If this is a student’s first time coding or using Tynker, they should expect to take a little longer to learn the tools at first. After a student has completed this module once, they will find it to be easier with each subsequent course as they grow in their abilities and familiarity with the Design Process.
Students are required to stream videos contained within the course content, download and print worksheets, and access Tynker’s media rich learning environment. A fast internet connection is required.
Parents who are interested in purchasing programs which are not included in our Tynker subscription may go to this link to find information: Parent Information
Tynker support tutorials for students wishing to use Tynker.
Teachers who would like to have their own classes in Tynker (and see their students’ detailed progress) should email Beth Johnson for a teacher roster.
Here is the Tynker webinar for HCOS which was held on Oct. 26, 2017.
Yes, the STEM programming courses are part of our subscription. Anything that shows up on the Tynker screen that is “locked” is not part of our subscription. To purchase that using their curriculum budget, parents will need to go through the purchasing department.
Grade and Reading Level for Tynker Courses
- The reading difficulty is K-4 for the A and B lessons, Grades 4-6 for the 101 and 102 lessons, Grades 6-8 for the 201 and 202 lessons, and Grades 8-10 for the 301 and 302 lessons. (The various levels cover essentially the same material, but with activities geared to the age group listed.) We have changed the grade level on the recommendation of Mark Lamden.
- The WeDo Coding course in Tynker would be approximately Grades 5-7 level.
**Note that your student needs to go into the “Classroom” on his/er homepage to do the lessons, not just play in “Hour of Code”.
- Be aware that completed lessons drop down to the bottom of the student homepage, so if the student logs in and starts on what appears to be the second lesson, it may in actuality be Lesson Three! That makes them feel incompetent when they get stuck.
- Click on a lesson in your teacher roster, and scroll down to find a lesson plan, standards, answer keys, etc.
- Choose the “List” view and it will give you the option for “Student View”, so you can see what your students see.
- NOTE: Tynker has good help videos, which will show at the top of your teacher homepage, and these can be hidden so they don’t take up space on your homepage.
- NOTE: The new Drones 101 course requires a drone and camera, which students will have to provide from their own funds, as the Ministry no longer allows us to purchase equipment using students’ curriculum budgets.
When you are considering signing up your student to use the LEGO WeDo 2.0 robotics course, please be aware that there are some required parts that will be needed. The Ministry no longer allows students to purchase equipment using their curriculum budget, so this would be the family’s own responsibility.
The main part of the LEGO WeDo is the Smart Hub–It’s what makes the connection from the iPad to the robot–and it comes with the WeDo Education set: Link to the LEGO page LEGO WeDo 2.0 Core Set
Here is the link for the purchase of the Smart Hub: LEGO WeDo Smart Hub ($ 62.95 US in 2018) and it needs the Rechargeable Battery as well: LEGO WeDo Smart Hub Rechargeable Battery (also $ 62.95 US in 2018).
The projects for LEGO WeDo that are created in Tynker must be run through a tablet. If your student does not have a tablet, they will not be able to test their code but they can get past the DIY by clicking “I’m Done” at the end. If the student does have a tablet, they need to sign in to Tynker through the app and then their projects will synchronize and they can test the project. Here is the link for the app for Android and here is the link for iOS. The student needs to log in through the app, not through the browser on the tablet.
NOTE: The Minecraft courses are not available to schools at this time. For families to purchase them with the curriculum budget, they would need to have them processed through the purchasing department. Here is the 2018 info about the Minecraft lessons from Tynker:
We offer Minecraft courses either through our Camp product or through our home subscription. With the camp version of our courses, the cost will be $100 per student per course with a minimum of 5 students. We have 2 Minecraft courses for camps.
With the home subscription, we have three different plans – quarterly, yearly, and lifetime – that come with access to our home Minecraft courses as well as access to our private server. The quarterly plan costs $48/3 months, the yearly plan costs $96/year, and the lifetime subscription is a one time cost of $200.
To find Tynker correlations please go to this link and scroll down to find Tynker alphabetically.
Stop the press! We are so excited to announce that there is now a “Tynker Junior” course available for pre-reading students.
Your littlest learners will use voice instructions to follow along with whimsical robots, endangered animals, mischievous puffballs, and undersea friends to learn foundational computing concepts like sequencing, loops, conditional logic, and more.
The Tynker Junior collection of four courses (a fifth soon to be ready):
- Engages students with fun characters, beautiful artwork, and exciting adventures.
- Supports the cognitive and motor skills requirements of younger learners.
- Integrates with your existing teacher dashboard for your student analytics.
- Introduces our new no-typing login system, Tynker SmartPass!
- Prepares PreK-2 students for block coding with Tynker
The Tynker app can be found on Apple iTunes or Google Play stores. Note that the web courses will not show up in the app (for either school or home-based courses). However, projects that students make on the web can be synced to the mobile app (and vice versa) for on-the-go app building on tablets. The tablet apps also come with some puzzles. However, they are not related to school courses.