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Digital Mysteries - Primary Computing Bundle (Networks, Logic and Algorithms)

By Reflective Thinking

This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.


This bundle has been created to specifically support the primary computing curriculum. Whilst developing understanding of some key topics, students also gain collaboration and problem-solving skills. Each pair/small group shares an iPad and embark on a collaborative experience like no other.

All three apps follow a similar process. Each has a dedicated Reading Stage: at this point, all students have to do is read the snippets of information given to them. These have bright illustrations to help make the task as engaging as possible. After this, students move to the next stage which has the goal of either grouping/organising slips or creating a chain/layout which reflects their answer.

When students have typed in their answer, they can go through the Reflection Stage (individually, as a group, with their teacher or even as a class). This is excellent for stimulated recall, reflecting on what they’ve learnt and developing higher level thinking skills. A PDF report is generated as a summary of the session and can be printed or shared.

The three apps in this bundle, all for 7-11 year olds, are:

WAN Island: Computer networks

Main question: What is the best way, or combination of ways to 1) send a warning from Peer Village to Hub Village? 2) send an invitation from Nap Village to Ack Village where they need a yes/no reply?

Summary: Gets students to think about concepts in networking, especially how network protocols address different networking problems. Two island residents, Sam and Jo, have been asked to think of a way that villages can communicate with each other in case of attack. Students need to help consider and discuss different methods.

The rules students come up with to help people send and receive messages are a network protocol. Having to come up with the rules themselves helps them understand the concept of protocols and the reasons behind them.

Marble Land: Variables, sequences and selection (making logical decisions)

Main question: What path did you have to take to get to your character’s treasure and what is the secret code to unlock it?

Summary: This treasure hunt mystery has students follow a sequence of instructions, use and manipulate a variable, and make selections (logical decisions) based on the value of the variable.

Each group chooses a character to help. This changes the value (the number) of marbles each group starts off with, and therefore, the sequence to follow and the final destination (where the treasure is). This engages students more as they can decide on the character they like the most, but also helps reflect the concept of initialisation values and how they affect how any program/algorithm works.

They follow a slip-by-slip basis to find the treasure. The link between the programming concepts and the mystery can either be explained by the teacher afterwards, to aim for the ‘aha’ moment, or before, so that students are aware of their use during the hunt.

Bob’s Algorithm: Use logical reasoning to explain how simple algorithms work

Main question: Can you write Bob's algorithm in one line and show what the password will be for a different name and website?

Summary: This is about a simple password generation algorithm that Bob suggests to his family. It helps them to create unique passwords for their favourite websites. Through explaining how his algorithm works, Bob explains what an algorithm is by making basic use of variables and some simple logic. It also provides the opportunity to refresh students’ understanding of other areas in the earlier stages of the curriculum such as variables. The mystery demonstrates how the result of the same algorithm differs based on its initial state and input variables.

It also brings students’ attention to digital literacy - keeping personal information private (e.g. passwords), and the importance of choosing strong, private, yet memorable passwords.

iPad Screenshots

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Digital Mysteries - Primary Computing Bundle (Networks, Logic and Algorithms)
View in iTunes
  • £3.99
  • App Count: 3
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 42.9 MB
  • Language: English
  • Developer:

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

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