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,, 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.

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ITGS Past papers

List of ITGS Past Paper Topics

This section of the site contains a list of all ITGS past papers from 2006 to present (both Higher Level and Standard Level) plus the IB specimen papers, broken down by paper and question. The general topic of each question is given, allowing teachers to easily select exams to use with their students and helping students select appropriate papers to revise.

Although the ITGS syllabus changed for 2012, old exam papers can still be used with some modification:

Pre-2012 paper 2 exams are very similar to the current paper 1, with the exeption that the final essay question is worth 10 marks instead of the current 8 marks.

Pre-2012 paper 1 exams contain shorter answer questions (generally Assessment Objectives 1 and 2) that are similar to the current paper 1. To use this as current paper 1 exams requires the addition of an 8 mark essay question at the end.

Download the ITGS past exam papers list (.xls).

Updated: 2015-04-30
Bananas in supermarket

Just in Time (JIT) delivery

Line 74 of the case study booklet says that each distribution centre used by ASI will use Just-in-Time (JIT) delivery methods. The articles below give an overview of how Just-in-Time delivery is different to Just-in-Case delivery, and how it can benefit businesses.

Students should be able to make links between JIT and Big Data collected by ASI.

Updated: 2015-04-29
Phone tracking

Phone tracking by retailers

The article Creepy but legal phone-tracking company gets wrist slap for empty privacy promise describes how retailers can track customers through their stores by collecting their phone MAC addresses using WiFi routers. A good article for the 2015 case study, as such data can be collected and analysed as part of a Big Data system. The article also nicely incorporates technical terminology from the ITGS syllabus.

Updated: 2015-04-29
Data Protection Act

Data Protection Act & Other legislation

The Data Protection Act (DPA) is a good example of data protection legislation. Although a UK-based law (the ASI case study is set in Mexico), studying the key elements of the DPA is useful to help students understand how personal data should be collected, stored, and used. As mentioned in the case study, privacy is a key concern for ASI, and as such they may want to write a privacy policy to cover how they will use Big Data.

The DPA is explained on many sites, including BBC Bitesize, Teach-ICT, and the UK government's own site,

Updated: 2015-04-17

Big Data and Discrimination

Another privacy related concern is that of price discrimination (also called 'differential pricing'). This is the process of using Big Data to determine the highest price a customer is likely to pay for a product. For example, a customer sharing articles related to the product on social media may be an indication that they are more interested in the item, and the retailer could raise the price accordingly. This could be particularly effective on websites where customers cannot see the price others are paying. The Washington Center for Equitable Growth has some more examples of this type of discrimination. Will Big Data Bring More Price Discrimination? is another short article on the topic.

Although the 2015 case study tends to discuss "bricks and mortar" supermarkets, it is reasonable to believe that online components could be included, and that some supermarkets in ASI may have or want to develop online shopping sites.

Updated: 2015-04-17

Big Data and Privacy

Specific examples of the risks of Big Data seem to be fairly thin on the ground. One of the best-known cases is described in the article How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did. This is a very interesting, quite worrying example of the type of insights retailers can glean from customer data.

Eight Problems With Big Data, written by the ACLU, gives a clear and concise summary of what it sees as the key problems - many of these relate directly to data protection legislation described further down this page.

In the ITGS case study, ASI want to collect anonymized data about their customers. However a recent report by suggests that the proliferation of data collection systems may mean that it is soon "virtually impossible" to anonymize data, as identifiable inferences can be drawn from huge data sets.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) regularly publishes new articles about the privacy risks of Big Data.

Updated: 2015-04-17

Image, audio, and text compression

The Computer Science Field Guide from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, has a very comprehensive section covering image, video, audio, and text compression. It is written for high school students and includes plenty of clear examples, images, and even interactive applets to help students understand all aspects of compression. It goes into more detail than is strictly necessary for the ITGS syllabus, but nevertheless is still an excellent resource.

Updated: 2015-04-16
Tesco Clubcard video

How we revolutionised customer loyalty

This is a revealing video interview with Edwina Dunn and Clive Humby, the couple responsible for the huge successful of Tesco's Clubcard loyalty card scheme. The interview addresses the history of the project as well as the opportunities and challenges offered by Big Data. This link was very kindly shared by a fellow ITGS teacher.

Updated: 2015-04-15
You can view previous updates to the website here.