Pass it on: September 2013  

The buzz word in the stem world is all about code: educators and industry leaders are realising research and development is being inhibited because students are not being taught coding. Many students are not even taught how to use PowerPoint, Publisher or Word to their full capacity.

Coding is the language of computers and will put students who understand it in the driving seat; able to programme, create software, and speak the same language. Step forward Ian Simons, Will Moore and Gareth McAleese, the co-authors of Go Berserk, a colourful step-by-step guide to making websites using code. By the end of the book, they promise, users will be able to make their own websites.

Gareth said: ‘Go Berserk loves to inspire children to make their own websites and apps with real code. We saw how excited groups of eight-year-old girls were in a Belfast school when we taught them html code – they quickly created whizzy websites with moving text and colour effects, and were very soon teaching each other (and us) what they’d learnt.  We thought it would be great to give other children the same experience, and so we wrote Go Berserk making websites with html and CSS.’

The Go Berserk team has seen the same results in primary and secondary schools which use the book, and have produced an iPad app and e-book to get even more children involved. Gareth adds: ‘This month the Go Berserk course was certified so that for the first time ever eight-year-olds (and above) can use it to work towards earning a Btec award.’ But let’s hear it from 11-year-old book blogger Olly, who said: ‘The book is really light to go through and any person who is 8-plus should easily understand this.’

To get coding, visit, where you can order the book.


Bit of an Ireland corner this as I have been enjoying a beautiful illustrated history book called Through Irish Eyes, A Visual Companion to Angela McCourt’s Ireland, which adds a pictorial dimension to Angela’s Ashes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography by Frank McCourt.

Photographs evoke the simple, often poverty stricken life of the city’s inhabitants. Newspaper reports and writing by some great writers including Thackeray, document the lives of ordinary people. The foreword by Malachy McCourt is blunt and worth the cover price alone.

Published by Glitterati Incorporated, Through Irish Eyes (ISBN-13: 978-0862785918) is available online.