Teaching unplugged

While we have identified classroom technologies that can be used to engage students, schools should be aware that much of the Digital Technologies curriculum can be introduced using an 'unplugged' approach. Often the concept that is the focus of the lesson can be introduced without technology (unplugged).

An outstanding resource is CS Unplugged, which identifies key concepts of the Digital Technologies curriculum, suggesting novel ways to introduce them without the use of technology.

CS Unplugged is based on a constructivist approach: students are given challenges based on a few simple rules, and in the process of solving them they uncover powerful ideas on their own.


English Computer Science Unplugged

Part 1 Binary 2005

How binary digits work

CS Unplugged: Field Guide: Data representation

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In this example from CS Unplugged, the concept of binary numbers, which forms part of data representation, is introduced using dot cards. Watch this video that explains this unplugged approach.

This CS Unplugged lesson explains how to introduce binary numbers using dot cards. A lesson plan and downloadable dot cards are provided.

CS Unplugged also provides background materials for teachers, which they call 'field guides'. This one is for data representation, and includes background information to better understand the binary number system and its importance in digital systems.