'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Review: Ready, Set, Code!

I’ll start by stating the obvious: technology has permeated every aspect of our daily lives. 

Learning about how it works is no longer a skill reserved for those who want a career in the industry, but a necessity. 

Our kids need to be able to draw back the curtains and engage backstage in order to competently and safely use technology. 

Coding is now taught at Primary school level, and this book was developed to support the Australian Curriculum for Years 3 to 6.

The activities in this book are both engaging and achievable. As a non-technology savvy adult, I found that I was able to follow the step by step instructions and managed to (gasp!) learn something.

The projects use the Scratch programming language, which is free and readily available. The projects are varied and interesting – kids can create music and art with Scratch, as well as develop some practical tools such as a wake-up chime linked to a light sensor, or to use radio waves to make a working burglar alarm. My favourite was a program that could very easily and elegantly model swarming patterns in birds or insects.

The projects also address the serious issues that parents have about technology: hacking and encryption.

Each project is rated in terms of difficulty and the book comes with teachers notes. I would recommend this book for not just for young learners, but for the clueless adults who would like to keep up with them!

Title: Ready, Set, Code!
Author: Heather Catchpole and Nicola O’Brien
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing, $29.99 
Publication Date: February 2020 
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978146312351
For ages: 8 – 12 
Type: Junior Non-Fiction 

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