Our Method: Live Instruction, Inspiring Teachers, Supportive Peers
Most online coding courses are self-directed, with software, rather than humans, doing the “teaching”. This may work for some highly-motivated students, but not for most. While coding is fun it is also challenging, requiring a degree of persistence and self-discipline that most young people haven’t yet developed. At Tekkie Uni, we believe that most young coders learn best in small groups, supported by their peers and guided by highly qualified and attentive teachers. We believe that live interaction with such teachers, and with fellow students, provides not only the content, but also the inspiration that kids need to leverage their innate ability to learn. Our proven methodology has already helped thousands of young people aged 7-18 learn coding, irrespective of their former experience.
Our Vision: Coding for Everyone
Coding is a new form of literacy, a 'must have' skill for every young person, irrespective of their future career plans. It provides kids with an understanding of how the digital world works and gives them the tools to take an active part in it. Just like learning to read and write, the earlier in their lives kids are exposed to coding, the easier it is for them to absorb the concepts. We believe that with the proper methodology and attention everyone can learn to code, therefore, at Tekkie Uni the only prerequisite is motivation. We design our classes to leverage the diverse needs and interests of our learners. Every child is different; some prefer to listen first and explore later, others prefer to explore first. Some are interested in sports and others are into music, some are into math and others are into gaming. When we say that coding is for everyone, we mean that young people can learn to express themselves with code, based on their personal interest.
Our Teaching Team: Experts in Kids' Education
We believe that great coding teachers, especially for young children and teens, should be teachers first. They need to know how to communicate with kids in an appropriate way, to explain abstract concepts in a simple, relatable manner, to provide motivation and to build confidence. That's why when we recruit our teachers we do not focus on their coding expertise, but rather on their demonstrated ability to teach and empower kids. We are looking for outstanding, highly motivated individuals with rich experience teaching young children and/or teens. Once recruited, our teachers participate in a six-month course of training, where they deepen their understanding of coding, absorb our teaching values and learn the course plan. Only those who succeed in this training are permitted to teach a Tekkie Uni course.
Our Teaching Principles
Learning by doing
- Kids learn best by doing. Most of our class time is dedicated to gaining hands-on experience while working on coding projects.
- Working on projects encourages our students to express themselves with code.
- Classes are not rushed, we allow students to progress at their own pace.
- The teacher is leading the learning process, creating engagement and motivation.
- Students are encouraged to ask questions, there are no wrong answers!
- Older, experienced students (teaching assistants or “TAs”) support the classroom teachers, allowing groups with a range of abilities to study together.
A playful approach to learning
- Class projects are based on students’ interests, to inspire imagination.
- Class atmosphere encourages informal participation, role play of real-world scenarios and creative exploration.
- No homework! We believe students should practice what they learned when they are motivated to do it, not forced.
Some students want “just a taste”. Others want to work toward a long-term goal. That's why we created a multi-year curriculum where every student can choose his or her favorite route. Kids can enter at any stage and continue their studies for one to six years. The only question is when to start.
For children age 7-9 we recommend starting with Coding Fundamentals – an introduction to programming using a block-based introductory programming language called Scratch. Scratch was developed at MIT especially for kids. It is fun to use, providing animated illustrations of abstract mathematical concepts. Kids create colorful stories, games and videos while learning about axes, parameters and variables.
For kids age 10-14 we recommend taking courses in the one to three-year App Development Sequence. Students learn, step by step, how to take a raw idea and turn it to a real product. At the same time, and almost without noticing, they are getting a broad introduction to coding. In their first year, students will learn the basics of coding apps and games, creating their own version of an existing app and installing it on their smartphone.
In their second year, students will code their own apps and acquire new design tools. They can even upload their finished apps to the Apple App Store and Google Play. In their third year, students will emulate real-life startup teams in launching their new apps. They will know how to pitch an idea to customer, work on it with their team and deliver the product on time.
For our teen graduates age 15-18 we offer students a chance to work on their own projects, closely guided by an experienced mentor in our in-house incubator. Those who excel throughout the entire program may be invited to join our teaching force first as TA's - strengthening their own coding skills while helping other students.