For an activity that explores how data can be coded and encoded, perhaps it would be a good idea to look at translations and conversions which students may already be familiar with (such a between languages). We could start by finding a simple word, such as ‘hello’ and exploring the different ways that is expressed (hello, good morning hi, bonjour, salut, ciao), how language changes, how not written language can work (a wave), and how other versions exist, say how it would be written in a non-latin alphabet. We could look at how different forms of communication are found in different activites (flags for planes, smoke signals historically, morse code could be a particulalry useful example), and be lead to computer language as just being an extension of that.
In a remote setting students could tell a story through emojis in groups/ or a pictionary type game, and then have to work out the teacher’s number from the base-ten code previously explained.
Students in groups could choose a code and phrase and work to communicate to other groups (with the help of a key – code breaker).