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

Discovering Computers book cover

Discovering Computers 2018

by Gary Shelly and Misty E. Vermaat
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Worldwide (free shipping)

Discovering Computers provides technical detail to A Gift of Fire's social and ethical depth. The book provides a technical explanation of hardware and software at a level which is perfect for ITGS. Almost all of the strand 3 topics are covered, including input and output devices, operating systems, and networks.

Where appropriate chapters include links to social and ethical issues, which tie in with strand 1 of the ITGS triangle. For example, the digital security section examines ethics and privacy closely.

Although Discovering Computers 2018 is not designed specifically for the ITGS syllabus, I have found it useful to have several copies on my class bookshelf and in the school library. My students have found the book a useful reference when studying technical parts of the ITGS course.


Updated: 2017-12-04
Internationalization

Internationalization

These two videos from Computerphile highlight some of the problems software developers can encounter when trying to adapt their software for users in different parts of the world. The videos cover far more than simple language differences and there are a few surprises in here. This raises clear issues of globalization and cultural diversity, and could lead to an interesting discussion about how (non)-internationalized software affects equality of access.

Is France's unloved AZERTY keyboard heading for the scrapheap? is an article about an unusual problem - the way the standard French keyboard layout actually makes it harder to type grammatically correct French.


Updated: 2017-11-28
Book - No Place to Hide

No Place to Hide

by Glenn Greenwald
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Kindle Edition | Worldwide (free shipping)

Update: No Place to Hide is now available as a free audio book when you sign up for a free Audible trial (US or UK customers only). Even if you cancel the trial, you get to keep the books.

Glenn Greenwald was the first journalist to break the story of Edward Snowden, back in 2013. No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State tells the story of secretive meetings arranged with almost paranoid levels of security, of hiding in a Hong Kong hotel room, and of the constant fear of the authorities closing in.

By now the Snowden revelations are well known, but as the 'original' journalist Greenwald is able to provide first person insight into many issues which connect directly with the ITGS syllabus. Privacy, security, surveillance, and the balance between them is a classic debate topic, and one for which No Place to Hide makes ideal background reading.

You can read a longer view on ITGS News


Updated: 2017-11-10
Rise of the Robots book

Rise of the Robots

by Martin Ford
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Kindle | Worldwide (free shipping)

Update: Rise of the Robots is now available as a free audio book when you sign up for a free Audible trial (US or UK customers only). Even if you cancel the trial, you get to keep the books.

This book, full of up to date examples from the world of robotics, fits in very well with the Business and Employment, Education, and Healthcare topics in strand 2 of the ITGS triangle.

As a bonus, Rise of the Robots is available as a free audio book with a trial of Audible. Even if you cancel the trial, you get to keep the audio book - a very worthwhile deal.

Updated: 2017-11-10
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, level, 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.

The style of ITGS exam papers has changed over the years, even within the lifetime of a syllabus. However, old exam papers can still be used with some modification:

Pre-2012 paper 1 exams: These papers 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.

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

May 2012 - Nov 2015: These exams contain questions that are the same format as current exams. However, the instructions are different. The HL Paper 1 contained three sections (A, B, C). In May 2016 sections B and C were merged.

May 2016 to present: These exam papers represent the current layout and style.

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


Updated: 2017-11-10
Who Controls the Internet?

Who Controls the Internet?

by Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Kindle | Worldwide (free shipping)

Update: Who Controls the Internet? is now available as a free audio book when you sign up for a free Audible trial (US or UK customers only). Even if you cancel the trial, you get to keep the books.

Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World discusses the challenges that arise with the rapid spread of the Internet and the benefits and drawbacks for citizens, corporations, and governments. The book covers the technical details essential to understand the nature of information on the Internet, and then discusses specific examples of government or corporate attempts at control. The examples include the rise of file sharing in the late 1990s and the Chinese government's ongoing crackdown on online dissidents. Each case study is presented with clear examples, and throughout the book ITGS social and ethical issues are raised, including globalization, equality of access, and surveillance.


Updated: 2017-11-10
Rogue Code book cover

Rogue Code

by Mark Russinovich
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Kindle | Worldwide (free shipping)

Update: Rogue Code is now available as a free audio book when you sign up for a free Audible trial (US or UK customers only). Even if you cancel the trial, you get to keep the books.

Rogue Code is the third book in Mark Russinovich's series about cyber-crime and cyber-terrorism (the first is Zero Day). Fictional computer security expert Jeff Aiken returns to deal with a potential security breach at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which rapidly turns into a cat-and-mouse pursuit linked to large criminal gangs intend on performing an electronic "bank heist". One of the strengths of Russinovich's books is his realism and accuracy, which has been praised by many reviewers. At no time while reading the novel does anything that Aiken encounters seem unrealistic or even far-fetched. This is a great book for extended reading about the topic of Politics & Government and cyber-terrorism.


Updated: 2017-11-10
You can view previous updates to the website here.