Information Technology in a Global Society

ITGS textbook cover Information Technology in a Global Society for the IB Diploma is the first textbook designed specifically for the IB ITGS course. Unlike the general computer science textbooks currently used by many ITGS teachers, this book is written specifically with the IB ITGS course requirements in mind, and covers all components of the new ITGS syllabus (first exams May 2012), including the Higher Level (HL) topics. It is fully illustrated with over 300 photographs, diagrams, and charts.

The book is available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and a variety of book shops.

This site supports the book with additional lesson plans, exercises, links to useful software, and other ITGS teaching resources. You can also view a detailed table of contents and download a free sample chapter.


Latest updates

FOSS misconceptions

Misconceptions about FOSS

There are a few common misconceptions about FOSS. Students sometimes believe it is always free (zero cost), or that it is trial software rather than full versions. There can also be misunderstanding surrounding source code and how its availability might affect system security. A common FOSS misconception and Another FOSS misconception try to address these issues.


Updated: 2017-05-03
Examples of FOSS

Examples of FOSS in Use

ITGS students sometimes mistakenly believe FOSS is 'trial' or 'simple' software, or that it lacks features compared to commercial software. The examples below highlight where FOSS in used in the 'real world' and where the advantages and challenges are found, and should help ITGS students understand that very large organisations do make extensive use of free and open source software. 50 places running Linux is a good place to start, with some perhaps unexpected examples.

FOSS in schools

FOSS in government

FOSS in Healthcare

  • NHS to embrace open source explains the benefits the UK's National Health Service hopes to derive from switching to open solutions.

Updated: 2017-05-03
Smart home

Smart Homes resources

The following resources are very useful for studying smart homes (also known as home automation technology): Of course, as technology becomes ever ubiquitous in the home, privacy and security become increasing concerns. When 'Smart Homes'How to hack and crack the connected home, When 'Smart Homes' Get Hacked: I Haunted A Stranger's House Via The Internet, and LG Smart TVs logging USB filenames and viewing info to LG servers detail some of these issues.

Smart homes are closely linked to remote patient monitoring projects in the Health chapter.
Updated: 2017-05-03
Smart cars

IT Systems in cars: Smart cars

Even if future vehicles still feature human drivers, it is likely they will use technology to greatly enhance drivers' safety and comfort. A future without car crashes? (BBC), Volvo unveils a cyclist anti-collision system (BBC) and Building the crash-proof car (BBC) cover explain crash avoidance technology. Steer-by-wire technology improves stability and safety by processing all steering inputs via a computer.

Cars can also use networks: either to communicate with other cars to prevent accidents (ARS), or to provide passenger entertainment (BBC video). So called talking cars have also been tested to reduce accidents by sharing critical data on road conditions.

To improve driver safety, 'drowsiness detectors' can automatic wake a driver who is  nodding off. Mercedes-Benz has added QR codes to their cars to provide essential information to rescue services. Facial recognition technology might also be used to detect drunk driving

Cars turn to augmented reality (BBC) and Toyota demos augmented-reality-enhanced car windows (CNET) demonstrate how this technology can be used to enhance a driver's awareness and passenger comfort.

Of course one potential issue with increased technology is the potential for driver distraction (BBC).

Smart cars is closely linked to driverless vehicles. The software page contains examples of potential software reliability problems in vehicles.
Updated: 2017-05-03
Phishing

Phishing

Phishing examples

Advice for avoiding phishing scams


Updated: 2017-05-03
Snowden DVD

Snowden

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Oliver Stone's film covers Edward Snowden's life from working in the US Army and applying to the CIA, to joining the NSA. The story culminates, of course, in his leaking of classified document to the press.

Snowden is faster and more action based than documentaries like Citizen Four. That said, unlike many films based on real events, it doesn't tend to dramatize or composite storylines or characters. For ITGS students this is a good thing, as it provides plenty of factual material to work with. The technical details about how mass surveillance is performed and a discussion of the larger impacts are not quite to the level required by ITGS students, but they should provide a good basis for classroom discussion and debate.

Snowden didn't really win a large amount of praise when it was released (many felt the film played it too safe). However, I found it quite entertaining and it certainly generated quite a discussion in my class after we had finished watching it.


Updated: 2017-04-14
You can view previous updates to the website here.