Ishef Nolan Glatzel is a 15-year-old from Argentina who lives with his parents in Buenos Aires.
Ishef became interested in technology when he was 8 or 9 years old. This came as no surprise — he comes from a technical family. His father Diego is an entrepreneur who works from home running an independent computer company, and his mother has a BA in Systems Analysis.
“At first, he began to explore the world of programming through a few games,” says his father Diego Glatzel. “Later he wanted to switch to Scratch. Little by little, being self-taught, he developed a game himself.”
What’s it like for a kid from a tech family to take an online coding class?
Ishef built his first game when he was 9, and he worked with his dad to complete it. But at 13, he was ready to learn code and expand his skills further. He’d already taken some courses through the Khan Academy, but his parents started looking for teachers or schools in the area who could help their kid learn more about computers and programming in person. They didn’t have much luck.
“Some schools in the area told us that he was still too young for a program and that we should wait another two years,” said his father, Diego. “However, my wife found Tekkie Uni’s advertising on Facebook and showed me. We went to the website, registered and the consultant who helped us was very clear about the educational project.”
Diego had lots of questions. As a kid, he’d become interested in computers at the same age, so he wanted to make sure Tekkie was the right program for his son. Once he spoke to the representative, however, he was satisfied.
“I was interested to know if here in the academy the kids worked as a team, they worked on projects and the consultant gave me such a clear explanation, then we got involved,” he said.
As for Ishef, he hardly needed any help to get started; he installed the Tekkie Uni software without his dad’s help, did the microphone tests by himself, and got himself started in his courses, which he enjoys. He’s completed many projects and has learned several new skills, including the use of Live code, structured thinking to build a game, and the concept of teamwork.
He’s worked on several group projects, but is now learning more about a teams’ role in application development in the Advanced Application development course. He also enjoys looking for errors in code during the bug party, a class when the students debug their applications.
How has Tekkie helped during the pandemic?
Ishef is now in his 3rd year of Tekkie Uni courses. Originally his parents wanted a teacher to come to the house — as teachers do for his music classes — but they’ve been pleased with Tekkie Uni’s format, which offers a live teacher as well as all the benefits of an online course.
“This is why we like your class so much,” says Diego. “Here we have the teacher and the group space, live, and in addition to this we also have the open classes and the recorded classes as a complement that gives flexibility to the entire program for those who need to reinforce their learning.”
Also, because of the current Covid-19 crisis, Tekkie Uni is one of the few extracurricular activities Ishef can still engage in. Normally, he attends school in the morning and one of several activities in the afternoon, including Taekwondo and music classes. Many of those can’t happen now. Tekkie Uni still meets, however, and it’s been helpful, says his father.
“In programming class, he finds, in addition to learning, a distraction in the middle of this situation to blur other things,” said Diego. “It is pleasant leisure time because he has fun and also concentrates.”
Why is learning programming important for kids?
Diego links programming to English — they are two basic languages kids have to know in order to enter the workforce.
“This knowledge will differentiate them between those who know and those who don’t and unfortunately now the kid who does not have this knowledge will be close to illiteracy, since coding is the language of the future,” he said.
Diego encourages other parents to give online coding classes a try — parents are always pushing kids to explore their passions and interests so they can find things they enjoy doing, like music, sports, and dance. There’s no reason not to introduce programming.
“If you encourage your children to learn this, they will have good tools to access good jobs,” he says. “Everything starts at this age. The younger they start, the more prepared they will be.”