Junior Pro Educators Code Camps
What is Data Representation?
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What is data representation?

Many teachers ask us, "What is 'data representation' and why is it important?" They wonder whether it's part of mathematics - perhaps something to do with statistics and graphing? While understanding how number systems work is very important for making sense of this concept, data representation falls under digital curricula and for very good reason.

A digital device stores all data; audio, video, text, images, processes, spaces, and programs as numbers. Data representation is about understanding how each type of data is processed and stored within a device, and what impacts this has on how types of data are used. It contributes to our understanding of what computers are able to do and what they can't do ... yet.

Computers are at heart an electronic machine that processes information in one of two states - called bits. These states can be represented with the digits 0 and 1.

This binary number system is at the core of all digital technologies and while the number of things we can do and represent with this simple bit-system are amazing, the way these numbers are frequently depicted in the media with long strings of 0s and 1s in various combinations can be quite intimidating. How on earth do computer scientists make sense of all those numbers?

Fortunately for us, while computers store and process all information in binary, those who use computers no longer need to be fluent. However, knowing how computers can store and transform books, music, photos and other kinds of data is important, so our courses begin right from Level 1 for junior primary school students, starting the process of demystifying the way computers store and process data in the binary system by looking at the ways humans gather and process information from the world around them.

Data Representation 1

Our Data Representation 1 course for children aged 5-8 years is called Carnival in Crisis. This series of ten lessons provides an introduction to the concept of data and looks at ways that we collect data from the world around us through our five senses, organising and making sense of it in our brains so that it can be used to help us make decisions.

Cody and Ava, the two main characters in this story, collect data from around a carnival site and help Aunt Kate to get all the rides, stalls and games ready for opening day. Students help them and along the way have the chance to collect, count, measure, sort and display data. We did warn you that there is some mathematics involved in Data Representation!

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Data Representation 2

Our Data Representation 2 course for students 7-11 years called Museum Mystery takes students on a tour around a museum learning how humans have used technology to communicated throughout history. Students collect clues to solve the mystery of the missing professor as they learn about body language; pictographs, hieroglyphs, sign-language and braille.

They investigate the inventions that allowed for faster communication over longer distances the semaphore and morse code, following the development of code until they are introduced to binary code and the way computers use it to represent sound and pictures.

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Data Representation 3

Our Data Representation 3 course,Counting Through Time, is written for for students 10-13 years old. The story carries on from the Museum Mystery adventure and takes students back in time to rescue some of the important thinkers who shaped the way we understand, represent and use number today.

Students will gain a greater understanding of binary and other number systems and codes that are important for computing.

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Alongside these three interactive courses Code Avengers provide a number of offline activities and worksheets that teachers can use to consolidate students understanding of Data Representation, so don't forget to check out our Lesson Plans and other resources when you visit the teacher tab at https://www.codeavengers.com

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