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

ITGS project introduction

Introduction to ITGS Internal Assessment Project

This is the presentation I use to introduce the ITGS IA project to students. It gives students an overview of the project requirements, gives them some examples of good and bad project ideas, and sets them up ready to find a client with an appropriate problem that can be solved with IT. Of course, these slides are just an introduction and it is also essential to provide students with a copy of the IB marking rubric and other formal requirements from the ITGS guide.

The presentation can be downloaded or viewed on SlideShare.


Updated: 2014-11-19

NSA Internet surveillance

In June 2013, revelations published in the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers cast a spotlight on PRISM, a warrant-less Internet mass surveillance program operated by the United States' NSA security agency. As weeks and months passed, more and more aspects of the surveillance program were revealed, including the cooperation of the British GCHQ intelligence agency, the widespread collection and processing of images, and the use of surveillance against foreign allies of the United States. The articles below chart the progress of the story and the legal and ethical issues it raises:


Updated: 2014-11-18
NSA government surveillance

United States of Secrets

Two-part documentary from PBS about the US government's warrantless surveillance of the Internet, as revealed by Edward Snowden's leaked files.

Through in-depth interviews with key insiders, the film does a extremely good job of presenting the complex ethical and legal arguments both in favour and against widespread government surveillance of the Internet.

You can watch both parts on the PBS website.
Updated: 2014-11-18
Bias in Wikipedia

TOK, Wikipedia, and ITGS

Wikipedia is often criticised for being "unreliable", but few criticisms go beyond "anybody can edit it". The resources below examine the demographics of Wikipedia's contributors and editors, and provide some insightful statistics that can be a great source of discussion in both TOK and ITGS lessons.

Wikipedia's editors are basically all dudes examines gender bias in Wikipedia while Wikipedia's own page on systematic bias is full of useful information.

This can lead to some great TOK knowledge questions, including:

  • How can we identify systematic bias?
  • Can we ever truly overcome systematic bias in sources?
  • If 'average' is used in the mathematical sense, how representative would an 'average' contributor be? Is an 'average' of knowledge desirable?
  • Is there some information which cannot be simply classified as 'correct' or 'incorrect'?
  • Is there a place for such information in an encyclopedia that aims to be "to be the sum of human knowledge" (which leads us back to a classic open-ended TOK question: "What is knowledge?")

Updated: 2014-11-17
Data protection act

Data Protection Act & Other legislation

Though UK-specific, The Data Protection Act (DPA) is a good example of data protection legislation, controlling how data can be collected, stored, and used. BBC Bitesize has good coverage of the act, as does Teach-ICT. The UK government also has a surprisingly easy to understand explanation on Gov.uk.
Updated: 2014-11-14
You can view previous updates to the website here.