Are you looking for online technology classes for your homeschool? Check out our review of MYTEK LAB, a technology education solution for students in grades 3-12.
It’s that time of year again. Time to shop for curriculum for next school year!
This will be a big year for our family as our oldest enters high school and our youngest starts middle school. When we started homeschooling preschool ten years ago, I never expected that we’d still be learning at home a decade later.
With both of my kids entering a new phase of their schooling, it’s important to me that we try new things. We are also expanding our learning beyond the basic core subjects, unit studies, and time spent in nature. All of those things have given us a strong foundation over the years, but my kids are ready for more.
And while I feel confident teaching most subjects, it’s definitely time to outsource higher-level music, art, and technology education.
My husband and I were both born at the very tail end of Gen X. While we both remember taking very basic computer classes in elementary and middle school, we didn’t experience the Internet until we went to college. For us, technology education looked like:
- Printing cards and banners in “print shop” (Remember dot matrix printers?)
- Playing Oregon Trail
- Making 3-D rooms in Microsoft Paint
Obviously, my technology skills have diversified tremendously over the past three decades. After all, I run my own website, design my own graphics, and update my social media just fine. But I’m still a novice when it comes to coding and programming — and I certainly don’t have the expertise to teach my kids those skills.
Enter MYTEK LAB.
When I first learned about their online technology classes, I asked my youngest if she would be interested in taking programming classes. With her older sister taking an online creative writing class every week, she jumped at the chance to try something new (and just for her)!
MYTEK (My Technology * Education * Knowledge) LAB is owned and operated by Stephen and Jacky Souders. They offer LIVE, weekly coding and programming classes on their website — AND a full year counts toward an elective credit in Computer Education or Computer Science! You can check out their entire class schedule, from TEKnology Lab Level 1 through 4, plus specific courses in programming, software engineering, and summer classes in 3D modeling and animation.
4 BENEFITS OF ONLINE TECHNOLOGY CLASSES WITH MYTEK LAB
Both Stephen and Jacky have years of education experience, which makes them perfectly suited for working with children and teens. Plus Stephen (Mr. MYTEK) has a Master’s degree in Computer Information Science and six years teaching at the college level. You can read their bios here.
Knowing a subject and teaching a subject aren’t always the same thing. In fact, teaching children a complicated subject like computer science is HARD. But I am really impressed with Stephen’s depth of knowledge AND his ability to make technology education approachable for kids as young as 3rd grade.
MYTEK LAB has classes from the elementary level all the way to upper high school — from beginners to advanced concepts, there is something for everyone.
Live Classes (with On-Demand Replays)
After two years of virtual learning, I have learned that different kids need different things. One of my children likes to watch classes live, participate in chats with other students, and get her questions answered in real time. My other child prefers to watch classes on her own schedule, so she can follow along at her own pace.
MYTEK LAB offers both options for the benefit of all learners. The live classes are fun and fast-paced, with support staff in the chat to answer questions and troubleshoot issues. Replays are available quickly, giving students plenty of time to watch and work on their assignments.
Some homeschool families have access to in-person technology education, but many do not. Whether you have a high-risk child that needs a virtual option, live in a small town or rural area, or just have lots of different needs to juggle — MYTEK LAB has you covered. There are morning classes, afternoon classes, and evening classes (Eastern time). See the full schedule!
MYTEK LAB also has a social component! Students can share their Pixel Art creations with the community and get feedback on their designs. It’s an opportunity to interact outside of their weekly class (in a safe, monitored forum) and see what the more advanced students are working on.
While students can take the classes for fun, there is also an opportunity to earn course credit (0.5 for a semester, 1.0 credit for a full year). I have a feeling that my high school student will want to take get her computer science credit through MYTEK LAB when the time comes.
OUR TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION EXPERIENCE WITH MYTEK LAB
Katie (5th grade) is currently enrolled in TEKnology Lab Level 1 (Elementary), a comprehensive 10-month course designed for students her age. (There are Level 1 classes for students 8-12 and 13+, so children can work with peers in their age group.) Technology Lab Level 1 offers an introductory look at many different areas of technology, including programming fundamentals, many different creative applications, web design tools, and many general technology concepts.
Over the past few weeks, she has learned tiling in Pixel Art and programming simple games. TEKnology Lab Level 1 also features more sophisticated technology education as time progresses, including a robotics simulator and VR development (making a model of the solar system!). The topics covered in class build on previously-learned skills. Students start with simple tasks in the first few classes and build on that confidence as new programs and projects are introduced.
The 50-minute weekly classes are fun and engaging — but Katie is also being challenged! The entire MYTEK LAB team is helpful and encouraging, answering questions in the chat and troubleshooting problems on the spot. Mr. MYTEK also offers support throughout the week via email and through extra help sessions via Zoom.
Truthfully, I’m constantly amazed by online education. It’s not easy managing classes on a platform like Zoom! It is clear that Mr. and Mrs. MYTEK have both developed a rapport with their students. The class atmosphere is fun and playful, but wow — do they fit a lot of content into a short period of time!
We are very thankful for the class recordings. Katie can pause the video, rewind something she missed, or re-watch the class later in the week. It works best for our family to divide the class into two parts so she has time to absorb the new information and practice during the week.
If you would like to learn more about MYTEK LAB, visit their website or set up a parent account to register for classes!