Tekkie Uni Lets A Boy From Argentina Study Coding With Kids From France
Valentín Paladini lives in Argentina, but he’s fluent in a language you might not expect – French.
Valentín has been studying French since he was 2, he is currently enrolled in a French high school, and is hoping to study in France as a college student. Now he’s even studying coding with Tekkie Uni, in French.
Thanks to Tekkie Uni’s array of international classes, Valentín was able to take both coding and robotics in French. His classmates were all native French speakers living in Europe, giving him a taste of what a college experience in Europe might be like for him someday.
For his part, Valentín is happy to be learning with his European classmates.
“European kids are like anyone else, they have talents, skills. There are no differences,” he said. “I feel like I am a citizen of the world.”
Technology and French: a perfect combination
Valentín currently attends a French-language high school on a scholarship. The school is 25 kilometers from his home, meaning the family has an hour commute every day, but it’s worth it, says his mother Carla Correas.
“I really like his school because it is a place without prejudice, teaching human values such as freedom, fraternity, equality — everything that is part of French culture,” she said. “Children do not wear a uniform and dress as they want, each according to their own style and preferences. There are children of all races and religions.”
Valentín loves technology; there’s a technology class at his school, and his ambition is to grow up and work with cars — a profession that has become more computer-focused in recent years. Carla and her husband were interested in finding an extracurricular activity for Valentín that would incorporate his love of tech.
When she saw Tekkie Uni’s Facebook ad, she was immediately intrigued; not only would Tekkie Uni offer her son technology classes, but as an international academy, it would also offer Valentín the chance to work with students and teachers from all over the world.
Despite the fact that Valentín is fluent in French, it didn’t immediately occur to the family to enroll Valentín in a French coding class. Instead, he enrolled in a Spanish-language course, but unfortunately, the class didn’t work with his schedule. That’s when the family came up with the idea of having Valentín take the course in French.
“It was perfect,” said Carla.
Studying technology online
Valentín has taken two classes with Tekkie Uni — app development and robotics. He loves the focus on technology. He hopes to make apps for cars someday, so he appreciates being able to take a deep dive into technological subjects. At school, he says, he must learn about many things. At Tekkie Uni, he gets to focus on digital skills by building applications.
“I like that you don’t have to spend time doing homework,” he said. “That’s good, it’s easier to learn by focusing on projects.”
His Tekkie Uni classes have also made him a better student outside the virtual classroom. For example, Valentín has taken full responsibility for his Tekkie Uni class; he works independently in class and sets an alarm on his phone to make sure he logs into his class on time.
He’s also used lessons from Tekkie Uni to improve in his technology class at school, according to his mother.
“One day the teacher came to class and put some exercises on the board,” said Carla. “She had not even sat down when Valentín raised his hand to say that he’d finished. She, of course, thought it was a joke or that the exercises were badly done. Then she reviewed his work and realized that everything was done well, without any mistakes.”
Valentín was too embarrassed at the time to explain that he was studying programming outside of school, but later, Carla met with the principal and head teacher, and told them about Valentín’s classes with Tekkie Uni.
“They contacted the technology teacher and she was very impressed,” said Carla. Today, she says, Valentín has the best grade in technology class.
A student of the world
Valentín is the only person in his group of friends learning programming; most kids he knows play sports or study, but he’s the only one who spends his free time coding.
When asked what he’d say to a kid worried that programming is too difficult, Valentín had one piece of advice: try it.
“You cannot think that something is difficult without trying it,” he said. “If you want to do it, you will be able to do it. You have to see it from the side that you like the most. That’s what’s motivated me to try things I didn’t know how to do.”
Currently, Valentín is going into his third year with Tekkie Uni, something his parents are very happy about. Technology surrounds kids and Carla wants to see her son learn how to use it to the best of his abilities.
“His generation, they were born with a cell phone in their hands,” says Carla. “Technology is part of their daily lives.”