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Alternatives to the Cisco Binary Game

Many teachers have relied on the Cisco Binary Game over the years to teach their pupils the fundamentals of binary to denary conversion in a fun and interactive game.

However, in September 2016, Cisco removed the free access to their game and want teachers and pupils to register to use it, which many teachers are unwilling to do, leaving them floundering with how to make what can be a dry subject more fun.

Never fear, if you are looking for suitable online or interactive games to use in your lessons, here are a few alternatives we have found.

Binary Bonanza

This is a fun alternative that makes pupils try to solve the problems by finding the pattern of bits in the grid. These can be up, down, left, right or even around corners! The pupils have to click and drag across the bits in order to make the pattern. This game can be tricky to learn at first, but once your pupils get the idea it should keep them occupied for longer than just a couple of minutes. Timed and non-timed versions available so the game can be differentiated for different abilities.

Cisco Binary Game on an App

While it is not the full version of the original game this is an alternative and, despite the look and name of the game, it can be played on a PC. You need to register your age but after that you get full access to the game. It is fast paced and lower ability pupils may struggle with the quick thinking skills required to progress far in the game.

If you are a non-specialist teacher or simply a teacher who is looking for that little bit of extra clarification or some new teaching ideas for binary, look no further than my new blog post “An easy introduction to binary for non-specialist computing teachers

Binary Fun

A simple game where pupils have to alter the binary digits to equal the denary total. There is a timer to add to the peril and after each question they need to click on “Start Round” to get a new question. Good for a short starter or plenary and for lower ability pupils if the others are playing the Cisco App, but some pupils may lose interest after a few minutes.

Binary Game

A self-marking spreadsheet, you can install onto your computer network that the pupils copy into their own work area and work through. The stages get progressively harder and asks them to convert from binary to denary and from denary to binary. For some of the harder levels you may need to provide a piece of paper and a pen to help them work out the answers. Can even be used as a form of assessment as their work can be saved. Great to use either in the classroom or set it as a homework task.

Looking for high-quality lessons to teach computing?

Have a look at my computing teaching resources using the link below...

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