Teaching Computer Science: 8 Reasons Educators Love Thunkable
“Technology will not replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational.”
- George Couros, Innovative Educator and Author
Whether or not computer science or coding classes for kids are required at your school, the struggle to make STEM education engaging for students can be arduous. The biggest hurdle is getting students excited about concepts that will apply to the broader problem-solving effort. Often, students view computer science as too complex or boring and ask, "How will I use this after I graduate?" or “Why is STEM education important?” As a result, students tend to go through the motions rather than finding applicable concepts they can make their own. Most students don't have the opportunity to learn to code enjoyably and creatively, making bridging the connection between curiosity and learning curves difficult.
In most cases, learning to code can seem like a dry and dull task. It's hard for students to get excited about something that seems complicated and even more challenging when a subject feels insurmountable for underrepresented communities. To some, computer science knowledge, skills, and jobs feel out of reach.
With Thunkable's easy-to-understand platform, we make computer science concepts approachable and fun so every student can learn essential technical skills. The visual drag and drop app builder makes it simple for students to create personal, no code mobile apps without prior coding experience. Students will see the fruits of their labor in real-time as they make their very own app ideas come to life. Best of all, they'll learn important coding concepts.
To dive in further, here are the top eight reasons teachers love Thunkable and choose to bring it to their classrooms.
1. Students Learn Key Computer Science Concepts
With Thunkable’s no code app creation platform, students can learn essential computer science concepts such as logic, loops, functions, variables, and algorithms in a simple and gratifying way. The visual drag and drop app builder makes it easy for students to begin learning. Thunkable teaches important skills, like computational thinking and design, that students can use in the real world.
The ability to progress year after year with more specialized and advanced skills is another reason teachers love using Thunkable. Whether they have time with students every day of the week in a classroom or only a few hours at camp, instructors build lesson plans to explore more complex concepts and algorithms as the students progress through the lesson plan or academic years. Then, by the end of a few weeks, four years, or a semester in college, students will be experts in app development!
"We’re so connected with our phones, and we’re so connected with apps, and [Thunkable] allowed [students] to participate in something that can be so complicated. It can seem so distant to be able to make stuff like [mobile apps], but when you break it down, and there’s this platform that allows you to obviously be a part of something you could never be a part of before, even if it’s just telling people, “Oh, I built my own app over the weekend…” Even if it was that simple, it still is super cool and gives students the confidence that they could keep going."
- Emily Morrison, Launch Pad
2. Thunkable’s Platform is User-Friendly for Any Skill Level
Thunkable’s drag and drop app builder platform is excellent for those new to computer programming or who do not have much time to devote to learning coding languages but want to create an app. It is essential to nurture the learning curve for students because it can be a difficult and daunting task to learn to code.
"I think Thunkable is an amazing tool that makes CS very equitable and allows someone to very easily pick up [CS] and feel the magic that creating something provides. It's just awesome."
- Joe Mazzone, Computer Science Educator
Read what Joe Mazzone, Computer Science Educator and President of the local CSTA Chapter, is doing to inspire high school students to pursue computer science with Thunkable, the best no code app builder.
3. Thunkable is Adaptive to All Learning Styles
In teaching, it is important to consider the different learning styles of students. Some students learn best visually, while others learn best hands-on. Thunkable is excellent for all types of learners, as educators use the platform to teach computational thinking and problem-solving skills. With Thunkable, students can get hands-on experience with no code mobile app development and computer science concepts by tinkering with building blocks all by themselves. Teachers also enjoy how Thunkable can appeal to the creative and logistical skill sets of students.
“I run a number of workshops at schools, teaching not only children but also teachers, because I think Thunkable is a really useful tool that meets a number of curriculum objectives. It’s also really exciting for kids to walk away with something that’s on their phones. I really love it as a tool, and I’ve used lots of different tools out there.”
- Emily de la Pena, CEO & Founder of Coding Kids
4. Teacher-Friendly Resources are at Your Fingertips
Thunkable provides all the features and resources teachers need so they can focus on teaching rather than searching for the right tools. Furthermore, Thunkable offers a variety of resources for teachers, such as lesson plans, tutorials, and a community forum with a growing community of users who are always willing to help. With Thunkable, teachers can easily find everything they need and be confident they are using the best tools available. This allows them to focus on what they do best–teaching!
Check out our Teacher’s Lounge community to connect with educators using Thunkable in their classrooms.
5. Students Have the Ability to Create Anything with Thunkable
Thunkable’s no code mobile app development platform is versatile and can create several engaging and exciting mobile apps for students. Thunkable offers a wide range of features, including text-to-speech and import libraries, for students to tap into. This makes it possible for students to create truly unique and innovative apps with functionality and visual appeal.
With Thunkable's Live Test capability, students can test their apps on various devices to ensure they look visually pleasing and function as intended on all screens. Additionally, Thunkable is accessible to anyone with an internet connection, meaning students can publish web apps as well. Doing so makes it simple for students to share their apps with friends and family, no matter what type of device they have access to.
"Thunkable makes learning coding for beginners really easy, including building sophisticated stuff like apps with data in a spreadsheet or database. You can build real-world apps with user interfaces and sensors and data your first semester, even if you came in with no coding [experience]."
- David Wolber, Computer Science Professor at the University of San Francisco
6. Thunkable is Affordable
Budgetary concerns are a top priority for teachers and school districts. However, when it comes to providing for students, it is imperative to find affordable solutions that are straightforward to use and implement. Thunkable offers a budget-friendly solution.
Thunkable is affordable and doesn't require special hardware or software, making it accessible to everyone. Our platform is free to use and simple to learn, so teachers can get started immediately without breaking the bank. And, if more storage or publishing abilities are needed, Thunkable has discounts for classrooms of any size so you and your students can focus on building apps.
To learn more about our special educational pricing, get in touch with our team by filling out our form.
7. The Ability to Go Beyond the Classroom
Due to the wide range of no code mobile apps built using Thunkable, student work can be showcased during school fairs or competitions. Students love to see their work being put to use and appreciated. Getting their work into competitions is a fantastic way to showcase their projects since it exhibits their skills and gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment. Additionally, by entering students’ projects into competitions, a teacher can help to spark a love for computer science, prompting students to pursue further CS knowledge in their academic or professional careers.
"I feel like it’s similar to arts and crafts; you just use your imagination and you can build whatever. In terms of the [Thunkable platform], so many school competitions are based on building an app so there’s a lot of value there. I think non-tech people think it’s really amazing to build an app–everyone wants to build an app–so I think at a point in time there will be a big market for this."
- Emily de la Pena, CEO & Founder of Coding Kids
8. The Opportunity to Instill the Value of Computer Science
Exposing students to the benefits of STEM education and computer science basics is essential for various reasons. First, it helps break down barriers between computer science and the general public. Second, it helps increase interest in computer science by showing it can be enjoyable and exciting. Finally, providing accessibility to STEM subjects with hands-on experience can set students up for academic and professional success. Using Thunkable is an excellent way to get students excited about coding and computer science. Thunkable’s drag and drop app builder is fun and easy to use, so students can quickly see the appeal of coding and computer science.
"Thunkable is way easier and more user-friendly than the other platforms. We can teach coding concepts, and then the blocks are a great application of it. [Students] can apply those coding concepts right away."
- Sean Johnson, Thunkable Instructor at a coding camp
Bringing Thunkable to the Classroom
If you’re a teacher looking for the best no code app builder that is affordable, teaches foundational computer science concepts, and makes building apps easy and exciting, then Thunkable is perfect! Thunkable’s drag and drop app builder lowers the barrier for teachers and students alike, allowing them to teach or learn basic computer science concepts, regardless of age or skill level. Any student can create something custom and related to their passions while following the general principles set forth by their instructor. Thunkable allows students to learn computer science concepts without being stuck in a rigid curriculum.
Teachers and students can harness the power of Thunkable to unleash creativity and build their own apps. So what are you waiting for? Bring Thunkable to your classroom today!