The content descriptor being addressed is:
Examine the main components of common digital systems and how they may connect together to form networks to transmit data.
The elaborations provide the following information:
While the elaborations do break this down a lot more, it is still very open to interpretation. Getting Year 5 students to describe the process in Laymen's Terms didn't seem ambitious enough. Why not dive a little deeper? It seems reasonable to at least mention it........right?
Sometimes teaching is like performing a dance...
The fact is that not all concepts are the most engaging or to easy to communicate. It can be a little like performing a complex dance in front of a panel of hyper-critical adjudicators. Stumble...and you lose them. Dazzle them...and they won't take their eyes off you. The difference here was that instead of performing a dance I was trying to explain a very abstract concept in a simple way.
And so it began....I opened by stretching out the acronym, sashayed into examples of common letters and symbols, pirouetted around the involvement of the CPU, pliéed into the role of binary before ending with a bow and an example of data transfer in pixel maps.
At this point I luckily had some "ah-ha" moments in the audience because it connected with our previous data transference lesson.
I took a breath.....not a total flop.
Having some fun with it: ASCII to Binary Chinese Whispers
The keyboard decided on a letter which they sent to the CPU in ASCII. The CPU used an ASCII to Binary converter to produce a Binary Code which they then passed to the Software. The software created a pixel map of the letter before passing it to the monitor to hold up for the keyboard to confirm on the other side of the classroom with a thumbs up.
After the first round, it became a little bit competitive and the teams wanted to then race each other. It turned out to be a good brain break and provided the children with a more physical representation of the process.
What do you think? Should kids in Primary School be learning about ASCII? How deep do we go? Leave me a comment! I'd love to hear what others think.
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