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Best Tech Books & Podcasts for Middle School Students

27 DEC 2021

The technological field is constantly growing, and by the time your child graduates college, there is a great chance they will land a job that does not even exist yet. As such, you may want to support your child’s keen interest in technology, especially was we move further into the digital age. So if you wanted to step up their tech game, here is a list of the best books and podcasts we recommend for middle school students interested in learning more about technology:

Books for Tech-Inclined Middle Schoolers: 

  1. Creative Coding in Python: 30+ Programming Projects in Art, Games, and More by Sheena Vaidyanathan – One of the top rated books on Amazon for young coders within Crimson Rise’s target age, Creative Coding in Phyton explores how students can use the Phython programming language to create real-life projects that are out of the box! From arcade games to chat boxes to dice games, this book teaches the history and basics of programming so young students can be inspired to take up their own projects. This is perfect for any student taking the Crimson Rise Coding Module. 
  2. Computer Coding Python Projects for Kids: A Step-by-Step Visual Guide by Carol Vorderman – Phyton is one of the easiest and most applicable programming languages to use, which is why students are taught it first in our Crimson Rise Coding module (if they are more advanced, we also can create a custom computer science program to challenge a child’s particular skillsetl). This book helps support students in the basics, as well as give them a wide variety of increasingly difficult projects as they master their newfound skills; the program culminates in creating a space treasure game. This text is full of age-appropriate colorful pictures and diagrams to help aid too! 
  3. Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World by Reshma Saujani – The title says it all! As the tech field increases, so are its opportunities for women. Written by the leaders of the Girls Who Code Organization, the book encourages girls to become programmers in an empowering and encouraging way using plenty of positive language. The author touches upon the history of computers and includes small essays about women in the tech field. The artwork is lovely to look at as well! 
  4. JavaScript for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming by Nick Morgan – If your child dreams of creating their own app, then this book is the way to go! JavaScript is the programming language of the internet and this book has plenty of exercises with step-by-step instructions, meaningful illustrations, and real-life examples. The book begins with the basics of JavaScript such as strings and loops, and eventually addresses more complex activities such as how to draw graphics and create scripts.  
  5. The Ultimate History of Video Games (Parts 1 and 2) by Steve Kent – From PacMac to Pokemon, from Mario to Minecraft, this book follows the humble origins of video games as an arcade backroom novelty to the multi-billion dollar industry and cultural phenomenon that it is today. Have your child explore the origins of their favorite game and learn about its previous influences, as well as speculate where the field will go next based on its history. This book is also available in audio format narrated by Dan Woren - great for kids who may be hesitant to reading or learn best through an audio format.

Podcasts for Tech-Inclined Middle Schoolers: 

  1. The Kid’s Code Project- Each episode in this innovate “by kids, for kids” podcast is about a different type of code – from the Morse code, to codes written by the host, Barnabas. In addition, each episode follows some sort of narrative, making it easy to follow and quite entertaining. 
  2. Good Game: Spawn Point  - Most tech-inclined middle schoolers are also avid videogamers, which is why we find this fun podcast can be perfect for your young gamers. All the games covered (from Pokemon to Minecraft) are age-appropriate and the robot sidekick, D.A.R.R.E.N., is absolutely hilarious and a great innovative addition!  
  3. AI Kids Programming - If your son or daughter loves to program, then send them straight to this podcast! Robots, artificial intelligence, coding, and advice from entrepreneurs all have their place in this Spotify Podcast; the hosts also address the future of programming with both examples from the past and speculations about the future. Tune in! 

The next time your child wants to spend more time practicing their programming / video game skills, or they want to reach for their phone to see about installing another app, try suggesting one of the above books or podcasts. They will get to indulge in their technological interests while also picking up a few skills that may benefit them in their future!  

Your friendly neighbourhood Rise blogger, 

Gala

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Learn more about Crimson Rise’s strategic mentorship, academic support, and extracurricular coaching for young students, and request a free consultation on your child’s journey!

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