WE HAVE BEEN trying to associate fun with writing computer code during Coder Dojo sessions, during Schoolbots competitions and after school with BusyBees. I'm adding Tynker to the mix.
Throughout Ireland, courses devoted to STEM have proven to be recession-resistant. When young students, especially girls like our five-year-old daugther, can become mesmerised by things they create on-screen, we have a result worth promoting beyond the Golden Vale of Tipperary.
One of Tynker's strengths is how students can easily personalize their lessons. The personalisation enhances relevance and increases engagement because brings computer interactions, storytelling, game elements and graphic media together with code sequences. When this happens, teachers can easily explain what needs to happen to make on-screen creations move. And that means students learn the specific nomenclature of computer science and the basic framework of game design.
Bernie Goldbach is a creative multimedia lecturer with the Limerick School of Art and Design. He works with Robocode, games developers and CoderDojo.