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

SQL

Try SQL

This interactive page presents students with a large database containing more than half a dozen tables and although 1000 records. Students can create queries using SQL and see the results immediately. It is even possible to insert and delete records! W3Schools also has a range of help pages for the various SQL commands.

Although knowledge of SQL is not strictly essential for ITGS, this is a good resource to help familiarize students with database structures and query techniques in a way that isn't possible with graphical tools such as Microsoft Access.


Updated: 2016-02-07
Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things - connected devices which continuously collect data and share it over networks - could play a key role in the smart home case study 2016. Below are some resources that introduce and explain the centre ideas of this concept.

  • The Internet of Things by IBM introduces the IoT, the idea of instrumented devices, and how all this data collection can benefit us. It discusses many benefits of how connected devices could help us from the moment we wake up in the morning.
  • What Does The Internet of Things Mean? is another introduction to the IoT, this time from Intel. This video covers a wider range of benefits, including advantages in healthcare, travel and traffic, and manufacturing. The diagrams in this video do a really good job of highlighting the potential scale of the Internet of Things.
  • How It Works: Internet of Things. Although this video focuses on the IoT when applied to cars, the explanation of data collection, prioritisation, sharing, and analysis make it a really valuable resource which could easily be applied to the smart homes in the case study.
  • Green Peak's website divides the transition to smart homes into three steps, and suggests that the Internet of Things will be the final step in the process. The site contains a good amount of information about how smart home and Internet of Things technology works.
  • 6 Predictions for IoT and Smart homes. Although this site is quite speculative, I have included it here because the predictions it makes could be the basis for a good classroom discussion about the future of smart homes, the benefits, and any potential problems.

Updated: 2016-02-05

Case Study: Air Force Expeditionary Combat Support System

The US Air Force's Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS) was an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project designed to reduce waste and improve efficiency in the Air Force. Instead it was scrapped in November 2012 after 7 years and $1 billion had been spent on the project. It was estimated that even if the project was completed, it would involve another $1.1 billion and 8 more years, and would only offer 25% of the requested functionality. Useful resources include:

Updated: 2016-02-05
IFTTT

IFTTT - If This Then That

IFTTT (pronounced like 'gift' without the 'g') is a system providing automation of devices and services through simple sets of rules called recipes. Facebook, Google, DropBox, and many other services support IFTTT integration. Many smart home devices now support IFTTT, and the service is also suggested as a possible solution to home automation problems in the ITGS Smart Homes case study (line 39).

  • Home automation has a dedicated section on the IFTTT home page, and covers examples such as controlling lights, saving water, and even making coffee!
  • The Ultimate IFTTT Guide is a good introduction to IFTTT concepts like recipies, triggers, and actions, explained in a very clear format with screenshots and examples.
  • How to Automate Anything with IFTTT is a tutorial style article covering the setup of the IFTTT service. This could be a good activities for students to complete to help them understand the options and possibilities offered.
  • 35 IFTTT-friendly smart devices provides plenty of examples of the types of devices that now support IFTTT
  • Home security & smart home devices that work with IFTTT covers a wide range of devices from the media players to car monitors - all of which can be monitored or automated using IFTTT.
  • Home Seer is one of several companies offering smart home appliances that integrate with IFTTT services. Their website has a good range of example recipes.

Updated: 2016-01-27
Rise of the Robots book

Rise of the Robots

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

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: 2016-01-05
Smart homes problems

Smart Home issues

Smart homes do raise a variety of ITGS social and ethical issues, some of which are covered in the articles below


Updated: 2015-12-04
Smart homes examples

Examples of Smart Homes

How Stuff Works often provides a good introduction to an ITGS topic, and smart homes are no exception. Their page covers the most common types of home automation technology, as well as giving an overview of the benefits and potential issues.

Home Automation is a short video which demonstrates a real-life home that has been converted into a smart home by a technology enthusiast. The video also goes into some detail about how this control and automation happens.

Inside the house of the future is a video which covers smart technology in many different rooms, including the kitchen, bedroom, living room, and bathroom.

Smart homes a reality in S Korea describes possible advancements in smart home technology. Despite being a slightly older article it is useful for examining how technology has changed in recent years and whether or not predictions have been realised (and why).

A new kind of fire fighting describes smart buildings which can monitor themselves, providing alerts in the event of a fire and offering emergency responders an insight into exactly what is happening inside the building.

Tony Fadell: the man who wants to take control of your home is a good introduction to the concepts of smart homes. It covers basic home automation technology including alarm systems and a smoke alarm which will text your smart phone if your house is burning down(!).


Updated: 2015-12-04
Computer models

Computer models for health care

Various computer models are used to help design new drugs and administer existing drugs and treatments more effectively: Other health models are used to improve our understanding of the human body: Finally, computer models may be used to predict the spread of a certain virus or bacteria, with a view to preventing it:
Updated: 2015-12-04
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