Initmapjs Outcomes/Objectives

Core Application Scoring Guides to be used: *Reading, Writing, Quantify, Communicate, Collaborate, Use Technology.

Foundation Skill(s) Scoring Guides to be used: *Technology, Communication, Quantification, Analysis.

Task Description

As students are introduced to computer operation, terminology, ASCII and binary numbering system, history of computers, desktop publishing they will be able to identify how the computer is an outstanding tool for mathematical calculations and enhanced communication; explain the function of common computer hardware and software; translate binary, ASCII, and a variety of other codes, ciphers, and concealment messages; create desktop published documents.

Knowledge and Skill(s) that need to be taught:

*Computer hardware and software terminology and function. *History of computer technology and related developments; generations of computers. *Encryption methods utilized by computers in the business place. *Codes, Ciphers, and concealment messages and how they relate to communication and computer operation. *Strategies for decrypting messages. *Desktop publishing guidelines and composition techniques.

Prerequisite Knowledge & Skills

*Reading, writing, listening, and exposure to cooperative learning.

Whole Class Learning Activities

*The Journey Inside: The Computer - Intel Kit. *Cryptology Lessons (see attached unit). *Use of cryptology related software. *Desktop Publishing composition lab activity.

Performances and Products

*Intel video notes and related quizzes. *Worksheets for computer history, use of computers in the business place, and cryptology. *Cipher clocks and personalized ciphers and/or codes. *Attempt to decrypt and find messages in an optional treasure hunt. *Desktop published document and related composition activities completed in a computer lab.

Brief Description of Successful Performance

*70%, or better, academic scores for worksheets and quizzes. *Able to explain the basic function of computer hardware and software. *Able to identify and explain present day application and use of technology in the business place. *Able to evaluate the appropriate use, advantages/disadvantages, and applications of a variety of codes, ciphers, and concealment techniques. *Able to make use of decrypting techniques to decrypt 3 or more different types of encryption. *Able to create a desktop published document and related composition activities.

Approximate Time of Unit

*15-25 classroom days, depending upon the amount of time one has to teach the unit.

Resources and/or Materials

*Intel Kit "The Journey Inside: The Computer" along with old computer parts and hardware demonstrations. *Cryptology unit handouts and lesson plans. *Macintosh Computer lab and related cryptology software. *World wide web access, if possible, to enable students to download and experience file encryption.


Computers were new and exciting machines for the adventurous to program and operate in the early part of this century. As the technology of computers developed compatibility issues arose. The mathematical value for each letter on the keyboard is a good example.

Every time a key is pressed on the keyboard an electrical contact is made inside of the keyboard. Eventually the key pressed corresponds to a unique number that is then translated into the binary equivalent and processed by the computer. Well what happens if everyone is programming in different values for the keys on their keyboards?

As an example, let's give uppercase "A" the value of 65. If you gave a different letter on your keyboard, say "D" for example, the value of 65 we have a compatibility problem. If I was to use your computer the value 65 would actually be "D" instead of "A." As a result it wasn't long before the ASCII table was created to help universalize values for characters on the keyboard. It's a lot like the System International (SI), the metric system, that is used internationally by scientists and most major countries around the world.

Now that the ASCII table is used by programmers and computer producers around the world all the computers can communicate via the ASCII table values. As an example, computers on the Internet can transfer ASCII (Plain Text) files back and forth between different platforms (Mac & IBM) without any errors in translating or interpreting the file! A partial list of ASCII table values is given below. See if you can complete the ASCII table for characters A-Z and a-z, and then compare it with a friend to see if your guesses are correct.