# ALEX Classroom Resources

ALEX Classroom Resources
Subject: Digital Literacy and Computer Science (8 - 12)
Title: YouTube Algorithms: How to Avoid the Rabbit Hole
Description:

We all know how easy it is to spend hours watching videos on YouTube. Why do we go down that rabbit hole? Mostly because of a combination of computer programming and marketing know-how called ALGORITHMS. This video comes with a facilitator guide and student handout that helps guide the discussion of this activity.

Subject: Digital Literacy and Computer Science (8 - 12)
Title: How Computers Calculate - the ALU: Crash Course Computer Science #5
URL: https://aptv.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/computers-calculate-crash-course-cs/computers-calculate-crash-course-cs/
Description:

This video will talk about a fundamental part of all modern computers. The thing that basically everything else uses - the Arithmetic and Logic Unit (or the ALU). The ALU may not have to most exciting name, but it is the mathematical brain of a computer and is responsible for all the calculations your computer does! And it's actually not that complicated.

Subject: Digital Literacy and Computer Science (6 - 8)
Title: Computational Thinking
URL: https://www.remc.org/21Things4Students/21/21-computational-thinking/
Description:

Have you ever had a complex problem that you needed to solve? This could be a math problem, science experiment, an essay you need to write, and coding and game design. It could even be as simple as planning the best route to school or baking your favorite cookies!

Computational thinking can be used to take a complex problem, understand what the problem is and develop possible solutions to solve or explain it.

Students will complete Quests to learn about the four stages of computational thinking:

• Decomposition: Decomposition is to break down a complex problem or system into smaller, more manageable parts.
• Pattern Recognition: Pattern recognition is looking for patterns and sequences.
• Abstraction: Abstraction is focusing on important information only, ignoring irrelevant detail.
• Algorithms: Using algorithms you develop a step-by-step solution to the problem, or the rules to follow to solve the problem.

## LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

When you have completed this activity you will:

1. understand computational thinking [Computational Thinker]

2. be able to solve complex problems using computational thinking. [Computational Thinker]

3. be able to break down a problem into smaller more manageable parts. [Computational Thinker]

4. know how to look for patterns and sequences. [Computational Thinker]

5. be able to focus on important information only. [Computational Thinker]

6. be able to develop a step-by-step solution to the problem. [Computational Thinker]

7. know how to use coding to automate a task [Computational Thinker]

8. understand computational design by applying technology to a problem [Innovative Designer]

9. understand programming as you complete hands-on activities, solving problems encountered [Computational Thinker]

10. understand the coding your program creates [Empowered Learner]

Subject: Digital Literacy and Computer Science (5 - 8)
Title: Divide and Conquer
URL: https://classic.csunplugged.org/divideandconquer/
Description:

### Santa’s Dirty Socks

This activity introduces the idea of “divide and conquer” using a fictitious but serious problem – a pair of dirty socks have accidentally been wrapped in one of the presents that Santa is about to deliver, and he needs to figure out which one to avoid a child getting a nasty surprise.

You can either play the video (linked in the activity) or download the PDF of the book (see the PDF files in the link to the activity) to read aloud or give to students.

The solution in the story points out that when there are 1024 boxes to test, instead of having to open all of them until the socks are found, one half can be eliminated at a time, and repeatedly halving the problem very quickly narrows it down to one box (the size of the problem starts at 1024, then with one weighing there are 512 boxes, then 256, 128, 64, 32, 16, 8, 4, 2 and 1.) This idea comes up frequently in the design of fast computer algorithms.

Subject: Digital Literacy and Computer Science (5 - 8)
Title: Finite State Automata
URL: https://classic.csunplugged.org/finite-state-automata/
Description:

Computer programs often need to process a sequence of symbols such as letters or words in a document, or even the text of another computer program. Computer scientists often use a finite-state automaton to do this. A finite-state automaton (FSA) follows a set of instructions to see if the computer will recognize the word or string of symbols. We will be working with something equivalent to a FSA—treasure maps!

The goal of the students is to find Treasure Island. Friendly pirate ships sail along a fixed set of routes between the islands in this part of the world, offering rides to travelers. Each island has two departing ships, A and B, which you can choose to travel on. You need to find the best route to Treasure Island. At each island you arrive at you may ask for either ship A or B (not both). The person at the island will tell you where your ship will take you to next, but the pirates don’t have a map of all the islands available. Use your map to keep track of where you are going and which ship you have traveled on.

Subject: Digital Literacy and Computer Science (6 - 8)
Title: Computer Science Discoveries Unit 5 Chapter 2 Lesson 14: Automating Data Decisions (18-19)
URL: https://studio.code.org/s/csd5-2018/stage/14/puzzle/1?section_id=1888730
Description:

In this lesson, students look at a simple example of how a computer could be used to complete the decision making step of the data problem-solving process. Students are given the task of creating an algorithm that could suggest a vacation spot. Students then create rules, or an algorithm, that a computer could use to make this decision automatically. Students share their rules and what choices their rules would make with the class data. Then, they use their rules on data from their classmates to test whether their rules would make the same decision that a person would. The lesson concludes with a discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of using computers to automate the data problem-solving process.

Note: You will need to create a free account on code.org before you can view this resource.

Subject: Digital Literacy and Computer Science (6 - 8)
Title: Computer Science Discoveries Unit 3 Chapter 2 Lesson 15: Velocity (18-19)
URL: https://studio.code.org/s/csd3-2018/stage/15/puzzle/1
Description:

After a brief review of how the counter pattern is used to move sprites, the class is introduced to the properties that set velocity and rotation speed directly. As they use these new properties in different ways, they build up the skills they need to create a basic side scroller game.

Note: You will need to create a free account on code.org before you can view this resource.

ALEX Classroom Resources: 7