Wednesday, 30 November 2016

FREE Thinking Kit activity - Bob's Password Algorithm

Bob's Password Algorithm activity

In our free Thinking Kit App, you can download activities created by us, those shared by other educators (or even learners) or those that you have created yourself. To do so:
  1. Download the app (click here or search Thinking Kit App on the App Store).
  2. Launch the app, tap Educator, then New Session then 'Download task'.
  3. Enter the Task Code (5 for Bob's Password Algorithm or click here for other activities).
More information about the Bob's Password Algorithm activity

Subject: Computing
Topic: Logical Reasoning, Algorithms, Variables, Passwords, Digital Literacy
Audience: 8 - 11 year olds
Question: Bob has had an idea to help his family make safer, more memorable passwords. Take a look at the cards and see what steps he has set out. Add notes to write the password generation algorithm in one line and show what the password will be for a different name and website.
Author: Reflective Thinking
Task Code: 5

This mystery is about a simple password generation algorithm that ‘Bob’ suggested to his family that can help them create unique passwords for each family member and for each website. Through explaining how his algorithm works, ‘Bob’ explains what an algorithm is by making basic use of variables and some simple logic.

The task has been designed for the curriculum topic ‘use logical reasoning to explain how simple algorithms work’. It also provides the opportunity to refresh students’ understanding of other areas in the earlier stages of the curriculum such as algorithms and variables while they apply logical reasoning skills to understand the behaviour of an algorithm and predict its output. The mystery also demonstrates to the students how the result of the same algorithm differs based on its initial state and its input variables.
In addition to the programming-related aspects of the curriculum, the mystery also brings students’ attention to digital literacy with regards to keeping personal information private (such as passwords), and the importance of choosing strong, private, yet easy to remember passwords.

'Bob’s password algorithm' can be used:
  • To introduce new concepts such as logical reasoning
  • To review topics such as algorithms and variables
  • As a tool for assessing students’ understanding of algorithms, how variables are used, and how to follow up and execute an algorithm using logical reasoning.
Learning outcomes
  • Use logical reasoning to understand how a simple algorithm works
  • Understand variables and terms such as initial values and input variable
  • Recognise that the same algorithm can produce different outputs depending on its initialization values (in this case the person’s name), and its input variables (in this case the secret number and the website name).
  • Understand the importance of keeping passwords secret 
  • Learn some ideas on how to create their own algorithm to generate their own unique, yet easy to remember passwords.

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