During the summer holiday break, I had the challenge of writing a program and teaching Year 7 students to understand binary for text, images and sound. Firstly, I took a deep breath and then had to do some major research myself. Although I have a Master in Digital Technologies, the Masters degree didn’t require you fully understand binary. I must admit, I still don’t fully understand it as I am not a computer programmer, but I know enough to teach my students. So, tip number 1; Do some background research and professional learning before you teach the content.
When teaching the unit, my year 7 students came up with questions which I didn’t know the answer to, yet I was comfortable saying, “Great question, I don’t know the answer, but lets see if we can find the answer”. Tip number 2: You don’t need to know everything, acknowledge that you don’t know the answer BUT then do something about it. Find the answers for your students collaboratively with them (they will appreciate your time and genuine interest).
After teaching my unit of work, students were given their final assessment piece which was to create video using any program they like, with the intention of explaining binary for text, image and sound for a peer. They were given a 2 and half minute to 3 minute time frame to work with. Some went over but their results were very good. Below I have embedded students’ work samples whose parents gave me permission to upload them.
Overall, student’s feedback indicated that they enjoyed the assignment because it was challenging and they had freedom to choose their own method of presentation.