Binary Numbers: Fundamental to Computer Science

January 24, 2012 at 2:41 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For the last ten years, as an AP Computer Science teacher, I have taught my students binary conversion. It was more math than computer science. I would take a decimal number and covert it to binary and the other way around. I never really taught them the need to learn binary numbers or the role binary numbers play in computer science.  But thanks to CS Principles, binary numbers: concepts & applications is a major topic now.

I had fun teaching this concept. I used flashlights, flashcards and simple worksheets from CS Unplugged.  I had my students finish and turn in their work. Based on the work turned in and the reflection component I am certain that the students understood the importance of binary numbers and their importance in computer science.

In the next two weeks we should be getting our hands dirty by doing some actual java programming with Greenfoot. I am looking forward to seeing how the students fare using this tool.

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