My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As advertised, it has a year’s-worth of age-appropriate computer training in MS Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Google Earth, KidPix, keyboarding, computer parts, vocabulary, and computer problem solving. Everything meets and exceeds ISTE, NCLB standards. It provides a time table for the introduction of new skills, that build on each other. Students learn hundreds of computer skills while exploring math, science, literature, writing protocols, grammar, spelling, problem-solving, critical thinking. (See the publisher’s website at structuredlearning.net for free downloads and more details.)
I found it easy to use, straightforward, nonthreatening. I like the entire series.
Here are some reviews of it from other people, posted on Amazon.com
I love this series. It shows exactly what to teach, when, so I don’t try to introduce a tech skill too early (without the appropriate background). There aren’t steps for each skill–I contacted the publisher before buying and I agree with them; there are just too many differing platforms out there. The important part was keeping tech fun by introducing only the skills they were ready to learn.
The author often lists free versions of software if the user doesn’t have the suggested version, or you can contact them for ideas. And, they thought ahead to putting the entire workbook in a three ring binder, making it easy to remove reproducibles for copying without ruining the book.
BTW–lots of grading rubrics, samples, and a wonderful list of kid-friendly websites. If you’re a homeschooler, this is a great resource.
I’m a very careful buyer so I spent a lot of time on the Look Inside feature of this book, and then on the Scribd version (you get different pages over there). It delivers exactly as promised. Not only are there a year’s worth of technology lessons integrated into classroom units, using software like PowerPoint, Excel, MS Word, Google Earth, email, internet skills, there are also over a hundred safe internet sites for fourth graders–organized by topic, over twenty common tech problems that students and adults can solve by themselves, samples of lesson, reproducibles and even homework if you’re a lab teacher. All I needed was the software.
As you might expect, because of the breadth of topics, there aren’t step-by-step lessons, so if you’re looking for that, you’ll need to spend a lot more on about fourteen software-specific books. If you have computer basics, you’ll be fine.
Overall, a great value for the money.