Classic Computer Magazine Archive CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 10, NO. 5 / MAY 1984 / PAGE 230

I speak Basic to my TRS-80: student text. (book reviews) Stephen Gray.

I Speak Basic to My TRS-80:

Student Text

Teacher's Manual

This computer literacy course is also available for the Apple and Pet computers and includes an exam set on spirit duplicating masters at $12.50. The course is said to require no previous computer experience on the teacher's part.

The course was developed for Project I/O, a pilot project to introduce computers to the PRIME (Philadelphia Regional Introduction for Minorities to Engineering) students in the 7th through 12th grades at Leeds Middle School.

According to the back cover, the Student Text features "learning objectives for each unit, definitions and examples of key terms and Basic concepts, in-class programming exercises and practices, and assignments.'

The text moves slowly, and uses less than a third of each page (on the average) to present a couple of ideas in large (13-point) type. The 15 chapters cover the usual areas, but with some anomalies: an eight-page chapter on scientific notation, and a 19-page chapter on graphics that does no more than very briefly explain the five relevant commands, with only one to two examples on the use of each.

The Teacher's Manual includes all the material in the Student Text, and usually fills in a little (but very little) of the blank spaces with "annotations that provide a script for each classroom example.' For example, after a summary on the use of the semicolon, the manual says, "Go over in detail. Give the quiz whenever you feel the class is ready for it.' When programs occur, the Manual gives the teacher a lot more, explaining every line in detail, and suggests discussion of the results and program changes to illustrate various points.

The Teacher's Manual also contains seven pages on how to use the course materials (the course was developed for the Model I, which is no longer available from Radio Shack, but it can easily be used with the Model III), and 15 pages of answers for practices and quizzes. The coverage may be adequate to give students the bare essentials of Basic, although some of that empty space could better have been devoted to more examples. The course can't be recommended for use outside the computer-literacy classroom, because most readers will certainly want more depth, examples, and discussion than are provided here.

Review Grade: C+