Tektoma is a program that is honestly right up Jacob's alley. It's a game programming site for kids (ages 7-17), a site on which they can create their own games. The site was started in 2009 by Tom Marx and Matilda O'Connor, owners of Bits, Bytes and Bots Computer Adventures. They realized that they wanted to make more programs available for the kids when they went home from camp, so the site came into being as a result.
With Tektoma, any child can create their very own games. They have several different tutorials, including the following:
- How to Make a Racing Game
- How to Make an Arcade Game
- How to Make a Memory Game
- How to Make a Platform Game
- How to Make a Fantasy Adventure Game
- Using Tiles to Build a Racetrack
- Using Tiles to Improve the Looks of a Platform Game
- How to Create and Use Custom Icons
- How to Create a Standalone Version of a Game
- How to Make Your Game Play in Full Screen Mode
- Adding an Inventory System to Your Game
The tutorials range from beginner to intermediate to advanced. Each tutorial walks your child through the process of making his/her own game. There are new programs added to the site monthly, as well. Each tutorial requires you to download and install Gamemaker Software and the Gamemaker Resource Pack. Windows XP or Windows Vista are also necessary.
So, how would Tektoma be good for your child? Well, it would not only increase the technical expertise of your child, it would give him/her something he can do solely for his own satisfaction, using his own creative talents. I know my son loves video games, but he is very limited on playing time....with this, he can create his own games, giving him even more knowledge of how his games actually work. It would give him a sense of accomplishment in knowing that he created his own game or games. It would also give him more knowledge of computer use, in that he'd do everything solely on the computer. Not only that, but after he has created his game, if approved, he could share that game with others. That, to me, is a really cool application of this program because it allows Jacob to see what others have made, as well as share what he has made. They can learn from each other. The forums are also available to users for questions and interaction. Everything is moderated, so it is safe.
You can get a free 14-day trial of Tektoma, and you can also earn free membership time by referring your friends. When they become paid members, you get 15 days free, and there is no limit as to how many times you can take advantage of this great deal. Tektoma regularly costs $14.95 per month or $140 per year.
To read more reviews, visit the TOS Homeschool Blog.
(I was provided a 3-month subscription, free of charge, by Tektoma, in association with the TOS Homeschool Crew.)