• <More on Intel.com

Digital Information

Instructional Strategies

Digital Information

Unit Summary

In the prior unit, Circuits and Switches, students learned how binary numbers 0 and 1 are represented in electrical states (on/off). In the Digital Information unit, students learn how binary numbers can actually be used to create a language and logic for digital devices.

  • Understanding some of the ways computers represent, process, and display letters, numbers, sounds, and images
  • Comparing the binary number system to the decimal number system
  • Adding binary numbers
  • Using binary numbers to represent the alphabet (ASCII)
  • Decision-making with AND/OR statements

Goals and Objectives
Students will learn:

  • How the binary system can be used to represent images
  • What a pixel is and how it's used to represent images
  • How the two-state (on and off) nature of transistors can be used to represent information
  • How to convert decimal numbers to binary numbers and vice versa
  • How to add binary numbers
  • How to represent letters of the alphabet with the 8-bit ASCII code

Time to Complete Online Lessons: about 50 minutes


  1. Read the background information.
  2. Review and prepare for supplemental lesson ideas and group activities.
  3. Organize materials and equipment:

         - Student computers with an active Internet connection
         - Copies of the student handouts for this unit that you plan to use
         - Printouts of the interactive whiteboard images (optional)


  1. Have students complete the online activities:
    Throughout the unit, facilitate the development of new vocabulary introduced in this unit.
  2. Students who are not at the computer can work on supplemental lesson ideas and group activities.
  3. After students complete the online materials, they can:
  • Demonstrate their knowledge of the one-to-one correspondence between binary-counting numbers and decimal-counting numbers by completing the table of values online or in the Binary Numbers Student Handout

  • Perform simple addition problems between two binary numbers, and check their answers
  • Suggest a list of other items that can be represented by a binary system, such as the possible answers in a yes/no survey, a true/false test, a game of 20 questions, and so forth
  • Explain in their own words why ASCII code is used and what it's used for
Instructional Strategies

Online Resources

Teachers, view online resources to support and enhance your teaching unit.

Learn more >