'15-'16 Lesson 5 - Sending Bits in the Real World

Use this as a space to record your feedback and questions about this lesson.

I love the video that goes with this lesson, and the note sheet that goes with the video. I solidified some of my own knowledge when prepping for this lesson! I hope the students get as much out of it as I did.

I’m tempted to jigsaw the video. For some kids that’s a lot to think about and I wonder how successful it would be to have smaller groups focus on single concepts and then teach/ emphasize this point in some way.

Planning to show video. Somehow Activity link not working for me :frowning:

I love the video, I like the table in the video showing the pros and cons of each method of sending information. I think it will start a great discussion about the internet.

I’m not sold on doing this as a poster yet I am not sure how else to do it that is “different” other than a power point. I will think on this… maybe a google document?

Stephen, I’m thinking the same thing. Why do paper posters if we are working individually. I might give them a choice or Prezi, Google Slides, PowToons, Glogster or draw a poster. Any other ideas?

What are the critical vocabulary words we should focus on in this lesson?

For the Performance Task they will need to reference their sources correct? Where do we introduce that skill? Should we ask the students to do so here?

I will definitely use the video review worksheet that allows students to capture notes on important ideas. We will review this first, watch the video, and then complete in pairs. I am still considering other methods for the poster presentation. Maybe students can create an informational video or internet page with images and or video. I am not 100% sure yet. I believe it depends on the flow of the first four lessons.

I also liked the worksheet that goes with the video. I love the video, but it is a lot of information. I will probably pause it so we can discuss the concepts and the students can have sufficient time to take notes.

I agree with a post above the video is nice on this lesson.

Using the tracert command in the Command Prompt may help reinforce how information is sent from the sender to the receiver.

Open up a CMD prompt and type tracert google.com
Or tracert whateverwebsite.com

I think I’ll probably precede the video with class-generated lists about what they already know and want to know about how the internet works. Possibly will keep the want-to-know list for looking back on in future weeks as well.

Lesson went smooth today. Loved this video. I end up not using worksheet with it.

Do anybody has those prompts that goes with the chapter 1 of Blown to bits… so I can make them talk/write about it.

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I agree that the video is informative and interesting.

However, can anyone share how you did (or will do) the activity (poster)?

I’m finding the activity difficult to comprehend on several levels so I’ll be altering it for my students tomorrow. Here are some issues I have with the activity…

  1. I’m thrown off that the intro (video) really drives home 3 primary ways to transmit binary (in the context of the internet), but the activity is suddenly about ways to transmit and store binary, plus in contexts outside of the internet (such as a TV remote). The activity seems to take a sudden left turn.
  2. I’m also thrown off by the variety of devices. An ethernet cable does not actively transmit anything, as it’s just a cable, so there’s not much to say about it unless we get into the different categories of cable (5 vs 5e vs… 6?). So we have… just a cable… versus “home security system”. From a single simple element to an entire system that could range from just closed-circuit-TV to motion sensors that when triggered, dial your security company. Wayyy to wide a range of devices.
  3. I don’t understand why there are devices that are not binary (as far as I know). I’m under the impression that a landline telephone is just analog electric signals… sound converted to analog electric signals converted back to sound. How would a student research anything about bitrate or “bit-sending technology” with this?

Overall, to me, this activity as is seems much too broad for my students and researching this would result in much frustration on their part and probably for me too when students start asking me for help.

I think it would help to pare down the list of devices and narrow the focus to just digital technologies that actively transmit or store binary data. Maybe even to just internet communication devices (smartphones, modems, routers…). I’m sure there’s a reason the other devices were included, possibly to gain a bigger picture and contrast older technologies with newer ones, but I think that gets muddled with the other possible things this activity is targeting. Too much going on at once for a relatively open-ended activity (“just go on the internet and search for answers!”)

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Hey Frank,

Thanks for your helpful feedback! We are just as interested to hear how you and other teachers actually run the activity and hope to see your comments here.

I did want to let you know that I read and agree with your assessment that some of these technologies should be removed from the list because they stray too far from the focus on devices for sending binary information. It’s risky to send kids out to research on their own, so making sure that the devices have the correct properties is important. We originally included a larger list both for the reasons you listed and just to make sure that larger classes didn’t have too many students on the same device.

I’ll be removing devices I think don’t have the correct properties and if you or other members of the community want to suggest new devices I’ll happily add them. Thanks again for the feedback and be sure let us know how it went!


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What would you say led to your success with this lesson? What would be your top three tips for other teachers getting ready to teach it?

Here is a nice culminating projects for students to show their knowledge set after the first three lessons. I like the fact that it give students choice and allows them to research something that is of interest to them. I will likely have my students work independently on this in order to get the broadest coverage of topics.

I was wondering if anyone had some good, reliable, and current resources to direct students to use.

I will use all of the resources, especially the videos. Students will work in groups; not sure yet how exactly but will work it out. Will be on the lookout for addition resources on YouTube and online.