'15-'16 Encoding Text

I kind of wish the simulator did NOT default to 4 bits per chunk, as that seems to be the most efficient way to get the alphabet plus a few symbols. But I will definitely have a checkpoint to discuss why that’s best, and why agreement on the chunk size is necessary (which should be review at this point). The lesson suggests an extension of discussing what’s needed for upper and lowercase letters, as well as perhaps more symbols, and what chunk size would be necessary for that. I would definitely want to have kids explore that a bit if time allows.

Sounds cool, do you have an example of a binary puzzle?

I absolutely love the emphasis on protocol in this class. It makes the students go in depth and then when they test it they have a chance to fix their protocol.

I like this idea of creating a class code and then posting it front of the room for everyone to decode.

This lesson will definitely be difficult for some kids, but they can get through it with a little push from the teacher.

Content question:

Many languages do not use the characters of U.S. English. Suppose you wanted to be able to encode the characters of every language on earth within a single protocol. Guess how many characters would need to be encoded and calculate the number of bits that would be required per character. Then discuss the benefits and drawbacks of using this single unified system.

Does anyone have a reliable estimate of the number of characters of all the written languages in the world? One source I found said there are at least 100,000 characters.

I like this lesson! I will count their protocol as an assessment grade. I think that they can work as a group to plan and design the protocol, test it, and then write up individually how it works. Should be a good project.

I plan on assessing this lesson 2 ways - having students create their own protocol in pairs for a grade and have students decode a message using a teacher created protocol.

Liked the lesson because the focus is for the student to create a system on their own - great hook into ASCII. Hopefully the class will see that you can have many protocols hat work.

It’s clear that this will lead to effective programming planning.

David, just gave me an idea for my Do Now activity. As David mentions it will start them thinking about the process of coding/decoding.

I also need to remind myself to gather some sort of individual assessment at this point since all of this builds upon previous concepts. It’s important to identify students who might be falling behind and get them caught up because with these lessons that build on previous concepts, students will fall behind-er. :worried:

I am looking over the CS Unplugged website for additional support materials. I have found that their unit in binary can be very helpful and has helped me clarify my ideas on how to approach binary projects and encoding messages.

I find myself reading and rereading the unfamiliar material and although I know octets and binary, this approach gives more understanding to the base and exponential aspect of bnary. Writing protocols again approaches the abstraction and data Big Ideas.

The activity in the unit provides an opportunity for a mid unit assessment. it requires reconsideration and inclusion of the material of the previous lessons.

I hope some students develop an understanding of why emoticons and internet speak evolved.

I think it is a good lesson but needs some definite assessment in the form of a test or problem to fix situation.

I am not sure about what intro I can provide at this point for this lesson, but I like everyone’s contribution. The reminder for individual assessments is valid since most of the work generated is in a group environment. I also love the comment about presentation software.
My last concern … paper, paper and more paper… reminded me to implement google docs… or some other function of Jupiter grades.

When I read this lesson, I immediately thought to wheel of fortune and the final bonus round where the contestants are given the letters R,S,T,L,N,E and then get to choose a couple more themselves. The reason I thought of this was because those letters are some of the more common letters in the English language, and it made me wonder if there was a way to develop a more efficient protocol based on the commonality of letters. If you number them from most to least common, you still need 4 bit messages to send the letters and then it isn’t really more efficient than numbering the letters 1-26 in order as many people mentioned above. Still it is interesting to think about if you could do a protocol in a different, more efficient way than just numbering the letters, and it might make the students think a little bit more creatively to bring up the idea.

I don’t know what possible questions or contributions I can make at this point. But I can see how the lessons are connected. As of now I think I will follow the lesson as is.