There has been a big push in recent months and years to get kids into coding. This is no easy task. One of the hardest things, when starting out, is actually seeing and visualizing any sort of results. This is where Trinket – formerly Coursefork – comes in. Trinket is an incredibly unique product, and we recently had the chance to ask the Trinket team a few questions about their product:
What is Trinket?
Trinket makes interactive widgets that teachers use to teach hands-on during class. These widgets can be added to any webpage, just like a Video. This turns the devices that students have from barriers to mediums for teaching. Teachers can broadcast examples, check on progress, and students can share their work or ask for help, all from the teacher’s own site. We’re starting with introduction to programming but are moving quickly into math, physics, and music. We believe that every subject needs a hands-on digital learning solution as classroom interactions are increasingly mediated by devices.
Who are your users?
Our users are teachers. Starting with introduction to programming, we’re targeting teachers who use hands-on learning. Our users currently use a website of some form (Google Sites, Weebly, Wix, WIkispaces, etc) to deliver and organize content for their students. With a free Trinket account, they can add in customized interactive exercises to their websites, exactly where their students will find them most helpful.
What makes Trinket different than what is currently available?
Alternatives fall into two categories: hard to use software that requires installation or configuration, or websites that are not customizable or teacher friendly. Trinket works in any web browser and is lightweight and fast. And, unlike self-directed learning sites like Codecademy or Khan Academy, Trinket gives teachers control over the content and placement of exercises, ideal for hands-on learning in the classroom.
Why did you get involved in the education?
Elliott was motivated to create the tools he needed for in-person hands on learning teaching programming at UNC Chapel Hill. Brian was a cofounder of WebAssign and has created software that millions have used. We’re involved in ed tech to enable great teaching.
Tell us about your team and their backgrounds
CEO Elliott Hauser is an instructor teaching open source programming and leads trinket’s product vision. Elliott prototyped Trinket’s interactive teaching technology at UNC Chapel Hill and has left his PhD program to lead Trinket. CTO Brian Marks was founding CTO of Raleigh-based WebAssign. He helped bootstrap the business to over 170 employees and $30m in revenue. Brian is in angel investor in companies including Accredible and NoRedInk. Our Lead Engineer Ben Wheeler was a senior developer at WebAssign and left to join Trinket in January 2014
What is the next step? What do your current goals look like?
We need to get the word out! We’re the easiest way to add interactive coding to any website, and are meeting new instructors every day. As we expand into new subjects, we’ll repeat this process with the Music, Math, and Physics communities.
Where can people find out more?
Sample Trinket courses: