Tynker brings programming lessons into the home

first_img(Phys.org) —Tynker announced last week that its educational system for teaching programming to students in elementary and middle schools will take on a new offering, and it is now for home use too. The Tynker for Home system arrives on the heels of Tynker for Schools, which was launched in April as a ready to use curriculum. The courses teach programming skills and computational thinking. Students are exposed to the problem-solving process, knowing how to use computing tools and taking steps needed to solve problems. Tynker’s lessons for school and home use come at a time when those in the computer industry see the increase in such teaching initiatives as not as too many fingers in the pie but rather with relief that such options are increasing. Campus teams, foundations and technology executives want to see the education of children as future programmers and engineers under way, as most American elementary schools offer no introduction to programming. Many computer professionals say that computational thinking and computer programming should be part of a student’s education.Snap!, for one, is a reimplementation of BYOB (Build Your Own Blocks), a language for teaching high school and college computer science. The initiative was inspired by Scratch. Snap! is a visual, drag-and-drop programming language presented by the University of California at Berkeley. Elsewhere, Code.org has said its mission is in bringing computer science classes to every K-12 school in the United States, especially in urban and rural neighborhoods. The result is an “Introduction to Programming” course. If a child were told a weekend morning would be spent learning vector drawing, encapsulating code, and absolute positioning, the child would think this was some sort of punishment, like a time out in a corner, but McFarland’s course is teaching the fundamentals through such lessons as Train the Dog, Robot Defense, and TynkerBlocks. The self-paced course is designed for children in fourth through eighth grades and costs $50 per student.The course includes use of a multimedia library with sounds, animations and scenes along with game design tools. Badges are offered at the end of each chapter; students take quizzes and solve puzzles for an assessment of what they have learned from each chapter; a final exam is tied to their earning certification of having completed the course. Tynker’s lessons in the school can introduce the fundamentals in grades three to eight along with teacher lesson plans, email and telephone support. The system, according to Tynker, has been put to use in “hundreds” of schools. This visual programming platform allows students to learn at their own pace and the teacher extends one on one attention. While intended for students starting at grade three, the company web site makes note that there is no right age to learn how to code, only stages that can be recommended as levels of readiness where students are able to read, write, and understand relationships between cause and effect. The company founders built the system as a browser-based platform written with Open Web standards such as JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3. The system has character editors and other tools. The company attributes its inspiration from Scratch, launched in 2009 as a program for teaching young people, especially ages eight to 16, how to create their own stories, games, and animations. Scratch was launched as a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.To come up with the Tynker home edition, Tynker CEO Krishna Vedati, turned to David McFarland, Portland, Oregon-based web developer and author of O’Reilly’s “The Missing Manual” series on Dreamweaver, JavaScript and CSS. He also teaches at Portland State University. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: www.tynker.com/Press releasecenter_img Coding camps for kids rise in popularity Explore further © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Tynker brings programming lessons into the home (2013, August 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-tynker-lessons-home.htmllast_img read more

The time travel

first_imgCuriosity and the passion to collect rare things can go a long way and is surely a tedious task. Tarun Thakral’s passion to collect unique things led him to incept the concept of Transport Heritage Museum so as he could share it with everyone.’I am collecting rare transportation objects since 1994, when I first went Paris for my studies. I was inspired by a friend who used to collect souvenir eggs. Over the years I’ve personally collected everything from various parts of country and abroad as well,’ he said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The first level of the museum is the automobile gallery which showcases the evolution of the Indian car industry, as well as cars that have been used in India since advent of motoring. 75 vintage cars parked alongside a recreated scene of Indian roads. There is also a section which has cars used in Bollywood flicks like the red car used in Dil To Pagal Hai and more. All these have been either bought by Thakral or been donated for his collection.The second level is amusing to stroll around as each section on the level portray different era of locomotion like pre-mechanised section has an array of palanquins, howdhas, bullock carts, horse carriages and camel carts. Along with it on display are decorative items such as carriage lamps which also used to denote the status of people – the higher the status the bigger the lamp. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAnother section is devoted to Indian Railways where a railway platform has been recreated of 1930’s including original posters, train tickets, lamps, railway maps. The heavy transportation section has bus, trucks, trams videos and a range of other things.The third level is especially amusing for us as it had collectible Indian toys looking at them will instantly take you back to childhood. A huge J3C Cub air craft in signature yellow suspended in the mid-air marks the aviation section which details history and evolution of Indian aviation industry. Next was the rural transportation section which has every two wheeler right from bicycles, tricycles, the SD motorcycle, Lambretta scooter, Vespa among other. Indigenous systems of transport such as phat-phat, chakhda, jugaad and Vikram auto are also on display.The final level has an art gallery where rural and contemporary art works are displayed. A section of historical collection displays old lithographs, original photos and rare pictures, vintage ephemera, vintage road maps of India among other.Thakral’s idea is to keep museum as dynamic as possible by constantly changing things and adding more. It’s also a fun way of learning so the museum has various educational programmes for children like educational visits, workshop, activities and also a weekend learning program for children.last_img read more

Music that heals

first_imgAlok Kumar Verma, IPS, Director General (Tihar Jail), New Delhi has taken a new initiative for the prison inmates to augment their rehabilitation process by introducing Morning Ragas in collaboration with Legends of India. Beginning on April 27, Morning Ragas was introduced with great enthusiasm and fanfare. Internationally acclaimed flautist Pandit Ronu Majumdar performed on the inaugural occasion in the presence of almost 2000 inmates. Pt. Ronu Majumdar, Grammy nominee and a Guinness Book of World Record holder began his recital with Ahir Bhairav, followed by a Pahari dhun and two popular compositions Gadhiji’s Vaishnavi Jan.. and Tagore’s Ekla Chalo. He was accompanied by Kalpesh Sachala on the flute and Ustad Akram Khan on the table. The subtle nuances of the flute, a rhythmic jugalbandi between the flute and the tabla mesmerised the prison inmates to the extent that they not only joined the chorus but some of the inmates later expressed their desire to learn music in prison. Coaching classes in the prison will be soon introduced at the earliest. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This musical concert has added a new chapter in the history of Delhi Prison. The event will be held every month. The purpose of conducting the Morning Ragas with sessions of sublime music is to release the inmates from the tyranny of conscious thought. Music is one of the best solutions to such problems. It heals and raises you. Music directly deals with the root causes of crime, violence, and addiction and offers a practical approach to emotional growth. “Our efforts shall help inmates guide themselves bringing in positivity into their lives and to rejuvenate them” said Alok Kumar Verma. It is anticipated that this would have a hugely beneficial effect on the inmates since the spiritual and emotional effects of music in human transformation are well known.last_img read more

Reliving the era

first_imgTheatre lovers get ready for a treat as the Pierrot’s Troupe is going to perform two of its unique and celebrated plays on May 24 and June 13.Lal Qile Ka Aakhri Mushaera featuring Tom Alter as Bahadur Shah Zafar will take the stage for the 22nd time on May 24 at Sri Ram Centre. The play recreates the last Mushaera that took place at Lal Qila before the 1857 revolt happened. It, thus, presents some of the tallest figures of Urdu poetry on one stage – Ghalib, Zauq, Momin, Dagh, Tishnah, Sheftah and of course Bahadur Shah Zafar, which is played by none other than India’s one and only Tom Alter, a master of Urdu, acting and history-telling. The play is scripted and directed by M Sayeed Alam. The importance of this historic event lies in the fact that it literally assembled on one stage the tallest figures of Urdu Poetry. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Next taking the stage is the act Maulana Azad. It is the first ever play on Maulana Azad encompassing his life, his times, his scholarship, his secular credentials a great deal. Performed brilliantly by Tom Alter, the play has been rightly billed as the biggest casting coup in the history of Indian theatre. Maulana’s narrative includes numerous entertaining anecdotes and memoirs characterising his life, personality, thoughts and scholarship. Maulana’s personal relations with Gandhi Ji Nehru, Patel and Jinnah also come under the review in the course of the play. It will take the stage for 152nd time at Sri Ram Centre on June 13.When: May 24, June 13Where: Sri Ram Centrelast_img read more

In a first Bengal bags highest number of SKOCH awards

first_imgKolkata: With Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee undertaking a series of development projects for the overall development of the state, Bengal has bagged the highest number of SKOCH awards in 2018.This is the first time when the Bengal government has won the highest number of SKOCH awards by implementing projects that have immensely benefitted the people of the state. Different departments, state owned undertakings and districts have received more than 100 SKOCH Order-of-Merit awards. The 52nd SKOCH summit was held in New Delhi for three days from June 21. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) department has received three SKOCH awards and it includes one Gold and one Silver citation. The project of setting up the MSME Facilitation Centre has bagged Gold citation and the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) application, which was implemented as Service With a Smile (SWAS) has received the Silver citation. SWAS is a mobile-based application in both android and IOS as a help desk for entrepreneurs. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIt may be mentioned that the Chief Minister had directed to take necessary steps so that information related to the services and benefits extended by the government easily reach entrepreneurs and people involved with the MSME sector at the grassroot level. Accordingly, the projects were introduced and implemented properly. It has brought immense success to the state’s MSME sector. The project of developing infrastructure of state-approved industrial park under PPP mode has also bagged the SKOCH award. The state Panchayat and Rural Development department has also received the SKOCH award. The department has successfully implemented the hundred days work scheme to ensure jobs to the rural populace. Bengal government has been awarded for the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). Several steps, which were taken by the Chief Minister in the past seven years, has given a fresh lease of life to the Agriculture sector of the state. The state Agriculture department had developed Matir Katha, an interactive platform, through which farmers get guidance of experts through phone calls. The same facility is also available online as the state Agriculture department has launched an app called Matir Katha, through which reply to farmers’ questions are given within minimum time. Many other departments of the Mamata Banerjee government have bagged the SKOCH award for various projects. Departments that also received the awards, include Health and Family Welfare Department, Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department, Agriculture department and the state Transport department. The Chief Minister has introduced the Samabyathi scheme to extend support to bereaved family members from economically poor section of the society to carry out the last rites of the deceased. The state Transport department has received the Gold citation of the SKOCH award for its project Gatidhara, which ensured means of livelihood to thousands of youth by providing financial assistance to buy commercial vehicles. Besides the departments of the state government, district administration of Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Dakshin Dinajpur, Birbhum, Bankura, Purulia, East Burdwan, West Burdwan, Asansol-Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA) have received SKOCH awards for different projects. It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister keeps reviewing the projects at both the state and district level. It has ensured the timely completion and implementation of the projects.last_img read more

Somalia soldier 4 militants killed in training compound attack

first_imgA Somali soldier and four militants were killed on Sunday as an al-Qaida-linked extremist group tried to attack a training compound used for intelligence officials in Mogadishu, a police officer said.The attack started with a suicide car bombing outside the intelligence school, which killed two attackers and a soldier, police Capt. Mohamed Hussein said today. He said soldiers then shot two gunmen who had seemingly lost their way and stormed a civilian house close to their target.The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group, which is waging an insurgency against Somalia’s Western-backed weak government, claimed responsibility for the attack through its radio station. Al-Shabab has vowed it would step up attacks against government and African Union forces in Somalia during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The militants have been pushed out of much of the territory they controlled by African Union troops, which are backing the Somali troops, but they remain a threat, carrying out guerrilla attacks on government and civilian targets.last_img read more

Colleges instructed not to allow union intervention in admissions Minister

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee today told the assembly that state colleges had been informed not to allow any kind of intervention by student unions during admission. Replying during the question hour, Chatterjee said application to the colleges had been made online as well as payment of admission fees eliminating the need for any manual intervention. He said that some stray incidents took place in one or two colleges out of so many and some sections of the media was creating an unnecessary hype about it. The minister said that the government had taken strict action against those trying to disrupt the admission process and also some arrests had been made. Regarding recruitment of teachers in schools, he said some people were going to court for cancelling panels. He said that if this practice continued, then the government would also move the High Court and also examine alternative ways of recruitment.last_img read more

Anxiety leads to bad decisions

first_imgResearchers have discovered why it is important to stay clam before taking any big decision in life. Anxiety disrupts brain activity that supports decision-making, says a study.Anxiety disengages a region of the brain called the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which is critical for flexible decision making, the findings showed. By monitoring the activity of neurons in the PFC while anxious rats had to make decisions about how to get a reward, the scientists made two observations. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’First, anxiety leads to bad decisions when there are conflicting distractors present. Second, bad decisions under anxiety involve numbing of PFC neurons. The data indicates that anxiety has an exquisitely selective effect on neuronal activity that supports decision making, said lead author of the study Bita Moghaddam, professor at University of Pittsburgh in the US. The study was published in The Journal of Neuroscience.As with many people who suffer from anxiety but go through day-to-day life and make decisions, the anxious rats completed the decision-making task and, actually, did not do too badly. But they made far more mistakes when the correct choice involved ignoring distracting information.last_img read more