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Information books

What is a Computer?. Play with Computers. Computers and School. Computers all Around Us. By Jim Drake.

Heinemann pound;9.99 each, pound;37.96 for all four.

This pack of four books will prove a useful addition to the library for mid-primary pupils. Each one introduces manageable chunks of information, laid out as double-spread chapters or sections. Individual volumes stand alone, but the set makes for a good grounding in information and communications technology if read as a sequence.

What is a Computer? provides a brief history of computing, starting with the work of 19th-century computing pioneer Charles Babbage. It then describes the main components of hardware and software, coming pretty much up to date, although the obvious problem with this subject is th speed of innovation.

Play with Computers describes games such as the Nintendo Gameboy and many other applications which will have real meaning for children, while Computers and School highlights the benefits for many areas of the curriculum and for faster communications in learning situations.

Computers all Around Us explores the use of ICT in real contexts, such as in medicine, shops, transport and factories.

Each book contains good quality photographs and text at a simple but non-patronising level. There is the slightest hint of a message in occasional references to human interaction in an increasingly automated world. A glossary and index will encourage good research habits and ensure a well informed teaching group.

Jon O'Connor

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