Education Technology

Binary Numbers

Activity Overview

Binary numbers are all around us. Electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers and digital watches all use binary numbers. In this activity students write a small program that will convert a sequence of decimal numbers into binary. The patterns are used to help students understand binary numbers. These numbers are later converted to ASCII characters to help see how 1’s and 0’s or ON’s and OFF’s are used to transmit text.


  • Investigate how digital systems represent text, image and audio data in binary. (ACTDIK024)


Mathematics Coding
  • Kilo
  • Mega
  • Giga
  • Power
  • Base
  • For / Endfor
  • Wait
  • Char
  • Disp


About the Lesson

Students write a small program to convert a sequence of decimal numbers into binary. The initial number set is chosen so that students can see the repeated ‘carrying’ through each column in the same way that decimal numbers ‘carry’. Students then work through some simple questions and then see how the ASCII system is used for communications and how well it ties in with binary numbers.