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Digital Mysteries: Computing Bundle for 11-14s

By Reflective Thinking

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Description

Digital Mysteries: Computing Bundle for 11-14s has three educational, unique apps included which encourage pairs to collaborate over and discuss the topics of Boolean logic, programming languages and search algorithms. These tasks are specifically targeted to, but not limited by, the National Curriculum of England. All provide suggested learning outcomes.

With this bundle, you get 3 apps for the price of 2. Each mystery has a similar process; users are given digital, illustrated slips of information all around a different computing topic. They must read these, organise them into groups and then arrange into a sequence to represent their thought pattern in coming to an answer. This is in response to one main, open question given by the app (see below for details).

Search Algorithms

Focus: Understanding algorithms with sorting and searching given as examples, and comparing the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem.

Question: ‘Which method do you think is better for finding books at the new library in the school?’

Difficulty levels: 'Easy' introduces three different approaches with their main advantages and disadvantages. 'Medium' links these algorithms to computing science, and 'Hard' gets students thinking about more challenging scenarios.

Summary: Students are provided with information about Ben, Lucy and Jade, who have been asked to help with a task. Students are shown that in programming, as well as in real life, there are multiple ways to solve a problem. It is important that the students realize that there is not necessarily one right approach for all cases. What works best for the scenario given in the mystery is not necessarily the best when there are fewer or more books. It is an idea way for KS3 to be introduced to the topic.

Browser-based vs. stand-alone

Focus: Programming Languages

Question: ‘Should the team make a browser-based application with JavaScript and HTML or a stand-alone application (needs to be installed) with C++, and why?’

Difficulty levels: While the focus is the same at all levels, on 'Hard' two extra slips give students something extra to learn about and consider.

Summary: This puts students in the role of a team of game developers. Kevin and Kate (with help from Mark and Molly) need to decide on the best option to develop their athletics game. It discusses the issue at a higher level rather than specific details about the differences between programming languages. Students are helped to understand the advantages and consequences of two types of applications: browser-based, and stand-alone. C++ could be replaced with other languages such as Java, Python, or C# and the mystery will work equally well.

The Fire of Faydale

Focus: Boolean Logic

Question: ‘Who do you think started the fire and why?’

Difficulty levels: Easy - Provides one witness statement for each activity (e.g. having a BBQ)

Medium - Provides a 2nd witness statement for each activity that doesn’t add any new information but provides a different logical presentation of the same thing (e.g. ‘not light hair AND not tall’ = ‘dark hair AND small’)

Hard - Adds two witnesses and one activity to add to the complexity of the story

Summary: It's a ‘whodunit’ style mystery about a detective who uses ‘AND’, ‘OR’ and ‘NOT’ Boolean logic operators to help him solve a case.

Students play the detective role by reading witness statements to narrow down suspects from a larger input set (just as they would use these operators to narrow down search results from a very large set of input data).

Although there is no one right answer, if students combine the clues with the application of simple Boolean logic, they can work out who might have been involved in different activities that night and make their own arguments as to what happened.

**Go to 'Developer Apps' to view our full range of Digital Mysteries**

iPad Screenshots

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Digital Mysteries: Computing Bundle for 11-14s
View in iTunes
  • £3.99
  • App Count: 3
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 43.8 MB
  • Language: English
  • Developer:
Rated 12+ for the following:
  • Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References

Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.

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