I taught this lesson to a group a 7th and 8th graders in an advanced technology class. I taught this lesson exactly as described in the lesson plan and found it to be a great exercise for getting students talking about the limits of encoding systems. However, I do think a specific discussion topic on the data that is difficult to encode or what has to be left out should be included. The fact that numbers, characters, and images can all be digitized is clear and the necessity of an agreed upon system is also clear.
Timing: This lesson took a total of 2 50 minute periods (a little less), with the break right before they started filling out their own Punch Card.
Materials: The worksheets scaffolded the activity very well and helped to keep all students engaged and on task. However, I did notice a couple things that need to be corrected. First, I think that the Numbers, Characters, Images table should be blank. the example entries created confusion. Also, Step 8 is just a repeat of Step 7. I think that’s a mistake.
Assessment: Since this is the last lesson of chapter 1, I expected a project that had an accompanying rubric. Although this activity is effective in reviewing all of the content about representation systems, it’s not clear to me how to assess their knowledge. I am going to try to develop a stronger summative assessment for next year.