by Oxford University Press
The Matrix Computing for 11-14 series provides comprehensive cover of the Key Stage 3 National Computing Curriculum. It is thorough and well presented, with clear explanations and lots of practice exercises. There is also a refreshing attention to the creative aspects of Computing. For example the sections on using App Inventor allow students really enjoy building their own apps which actually run on their own phones using an interface similar to Scratch.
Topics covered are:
- Computational Thinking
- App Inventor
- Data and the CPU
- Introducing Python
- Information Technology
- Creative Communication
You can look inside the book Io get a feel for the style here.
One drawback that I found frustrating was that there are no solution files provided for the exercises, even in the Teacher Handbooks, which means as a teacher you will have to do the exercises yourself if you want to share or demonstrate solutions with your students. I wrote to OUP about this, and they do not intend to provide solution files at this time. They even seemed a little defensive about it, which is odd because from my perspective as a teacher, solutions are a basic requirement of a good resource regardless of the context.
Buy Matrix Computing for 11-14 Books 1-3
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Our verdict: This series provides comprehensive cover of the Key Stage 3 National Computing Curriculum. It is thorough and well presented, with clear explanations and lots of practice exercises. The only downside is the lack of solution files for the exercises.
Review by Robin Andrews