Binary
Time 1.3 hrs

Difficulty Beginner
Prerequisites Computer Science A
Departments Science
Authors Sandra Kuipers
Groupings Individual
Minimum Year Group None

Blurb

In this unit you will explore binary, bits and bytes.

License

This work is shared under the following license: Creative Commons BY-SA-NC

Outline

Learner Outcomes
Students will:
  • ...
Competency Focus
  • ...
Interdisciplinary Connections
  • ...
Reflection
What was successful? What needs changing? Alternative Assessments and Lesson Ideas? What other Differentiation Ideas/Plans could be used?
  • ...
Credits
Any CC attribution, thanks, credit, etc.

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5 mins
Binary
All 0s and 1s
  • Computers are complex machines that work by storing the simplest of values:
    • 0 (also known as false or off)
    • 1 (also known as true or on)
  • This is called binary or base-2.
    • This unit won't teach you lots about binary, but there are other units that will.
    • For now you just need to know that computers use binary to store data.
  • In Computer Science we call a single 0 or 1 a bit (short form binary digit)
  • If you understand binary, you will get the following joke:

  • Don't worry if you don't get it...you might soon!

5 mins
Bytes
8 bit
  • In computers, groups of 8 bits are stored together in a Byte.
    • b stands for bit, B stands for Byte.
  • A byte will look something like this:
    • 10010111
  • A byte can be used to:
    • Store a number of 0 to 255.
    • Store a letter of the alphabet, and some other special symbols like !, ? or @.
5 mins
One and Zeroes
Getting Started

15 mins
Counting with Binary
Explorable

20 mins
ASCII
Letters
  • ASCII (pronounced as-key) is a system that computers use to store characters (letters, numbers, special symbols).
  • Instead of storing a letter directly, ASCII stores characters as numbers.
    • For example A is the number 65 and a is the number 97
  • You can use the chart below to see how different characters are represented as numbers in ASCII (click for a larger version):

  • I could use ASCII to write my name (Jody Hubert) as follows:

74 111 100 121 32  72 117 98 101 114 116 

  • Take some time now to write your name in ASCII.
  • However, as computers can only store binary, a computer would store my name as:

01001010 01101111 01100100 01111001 00100000 01001000 01110101 01100010 01100101 01110010 01110100  

Gigabytes
Many, Many Bytes
  • Because computers store so much information, we often don't count in bytes, but use groups of bytes.
  • You may have heard of a gigabyte, or other groups such as kilobytes and megabytes.
  • The table below shows what these things are:

1 bit (b) = a single 0 or 1

1 byte (B) = 8 bits

1 kilobyte (KB) = 1024 bytes

1 megabyte (MB) = 1024 kilobytes

1 gigabyte (GB) = 1024 megabytes

  • This means that a gigabyte is a collection of 8,589,934,592 bits.
    • Or 1 x 8 x 1024 x 1024 x1024
    • That's a lot of data!
10 mins
Petabytes
Even more Numbers
  • If you want some even bigger numbers:

    1 terabyte (TB) = 1024 gigabyte

    1 petabyte (PB) = 1024 terabytes

    1 exabyte (EB) = 1024 petabytes

    1 zettabyte (ZB) = 1024 exabytes

    1 yottabyte (YB) = 1024 zettabytes

  • It is very hard to imagine how big these numbers are, but the image below might help you get a handle on the size of a petabyte:

20 mins
Finishing Up
Evidence
  • To show what you have learned in this unit:
    • Create a Google Doc
    • Give the document a title
    • Add your name as author
    • Write your name in ASCII using regular numbers
    • Write your name in ASCII using binary numbers
    • Make a guess at how many bytes of information are contained in the whole English language version of Wikipedia.
    • How did you come up with that number?
  • When your Google Doc is ready, submit it as evidence of your learning in this unit. 
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