Binary coding – unplugged CT

I have been creating lots of resources lately and have been trialling them with students in classes. This latest one is an unplugged Computational Thinking activity that illustrates to students how images are encoded into binary and sent over the internet and then rendered into an image on the receiving computer. The students emulate this by calling out their code to each other, one encoding their image design into binary and calling out the binary code to the receiver to reassemble the image and then error check.

This student is doing the high resolution challenge and is making a QR code to then encode to send to another student

Binary unplugged activity

We have just created a new resource that allows students to understand how data is transmitted in binary code and re-compiled at the destination computer into something recognisable, in this case a series of black and white images. In the unit we begin to investigate the impact of resolution on transmission and introduce the concept of error checking.

If you would like more information about this resource, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Simple Machines

I have started to implement my “Cardboard Automata” unit of work at several schools this week. It has been interesting to observe how the students engage with this open ended construction task. At the moment they are in the immersion phase, understanding the relationship between gears and cams and how they could potentially manipulate this information to make something move. Doing this investigation in cardboard has also thrown up lots of interesting bumps in the road for the students.

Their construction skills, their preponderance to eschew rulers and box cutters and use guestimation and blunt scissors is a sight to behold! We will need to have some deep reflection about their construction process and its impact upon the effectiveness of the outcome, before we move onto the meat of the project! Fun to be part of though.

Students at Howick working on their first cardboard automata

Remote Controlled Gate

I spent the last week in Hokitika working on a DT/HM PLD contract. On Thursday I worked with the STEM teacher from the High School who works with the students from contributing schools. We set up the students with an initial challenge to work out how the radio function works on the Micro:Bits so that the students could send “texts” to each other. Once they had mastered this skill we set the students the main challenge to design and build a remote controlled farm gate.

In the first instance we had to show them how to configure the Adafruit Crickit to work with the Micro:Bit. Once we had led them through this task, we left them to the challenge. This is the end result: