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I like Lesson 4! I do wonder how long the starter would take though. I'd also change the "poster" main to writing their own messages for others in the group to decode - if it was done through a spreadsheet where you'd set up the cells and locked a few cells it could even check itselfso when they e-mail to friends there's assessed feedback based on completion of task.
I'll definitely be stealing some ideas for our Computer Hardware unit (though ours is in Year 8, it seems from the above that you do this unit in Y9 as prep for GCSE?) I drew parallels with the old OCR GCSE B course =)
Thanks. There are some interesting ideas in there, although I think you might need to check that students don't get confused between binary and ASCII in lesson 4. I might be tempted to move the ASCII into a separate lesson on how things like pictures, sounds and text are all represented as numbers inside the computer.
I take a more academic/mathematical approach to binary, but maybe there's a happy medium in combining bits of both:
I don't work in a mainstream school, though, so you might find the activities are a bit short. They seem to be effective, though.
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