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.


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ITGS Podcasts

ITGS Podcasts

Podcasts can be a great way for ITGS students to stay up to date with the latest technology news and issues. While many podcasts simply cover the latest releases and device udpates, several feature more in-depth analysis, discussion, and social-ethical impacts which directly relate to the ITGS syllabus.

  • NPR The NPR technology podcast focuses on in-depth discussion of technology issues, which is very useful for ITGS. The very useful archive has a back-catalog of all podcasts.
  • Spark is perfect for ITGS, focusing on the impact of technology on society and culture. Each episode is around an hour, but is also broken down into shorter, snappy extra stories of around ten minutes each.
  • BBC Click contain shorter, ITGS relevant stories in every episode. The Home tab contains the 'radio' style show, while the podcast contains separate downloadable content - so check out both.
  • Security Now! A more specialised podcast, which tends to be quite long but covers a wide range of security related issues from exploits to social engineering. The great thing about this podcast is that it is always very up-to-date.

Updated: 2018-08-17
Artificial intelligence examples

Exercise 16.6: Artificial Intelligence Examples

The links below demonstrate different types of artificial intelligence, including natural language processing, expert systems, and games-playing AI. They should be helpful in getting students to understand what types of 'intelligent' programs are available, and how their intelligence may be achieved. 
  • Eliza - a version of Joseph Weizenbaum's 'computer therapist'.
  • CleverBot - another chat bot
  • Exsys Expert Systems - expert systems demonstrations, including a dog breed selector and a restaurant advisor.
  • START - a 'Natural Language Question Answering System'.
  • 20 Questions - think of an item and answer 20 questions to see if the computer can guess it.
  • Google Translate - Offers translation in many languages - choose two that you know and check its accuracy.
  • Tic-Tac-Toe - Try to beat the computer. What does this tell you about the nature of some games?
  • Connect-4 Another example of game-playing 'intelligence'.

Updated: 2018-08-17
Atlantic magazine cover

The Atlantic magazine

Print edition | Kindle edition
The Atlantic is another source of really good, in-depth ITGS-related articles. Many of the features are quite long, but they usually cover the social impacts on a variety of stakeholders, and are great for starting classroom discussions. The magazine is available in print and digital editions.

You should also check out the web site.
Updated: 2018-08-17
Textbook exercise

Exercise 1.8

ITGS Guide: "On what basis can we trust "knowledge" acquired from a range of sources?"
ITGS Links: 1.1 Reliability and Integrity, 1.12 Digital Citizenship, 3.5 Internet

The BBC article Are we trapped in our own web bubbles? and Eli Pariser's TED talk 'Beware online filter bubbles' are two resources that discuss how personalised search results could limit our access to new information.

Search engines play a major role in providing access to knowledge and information. The order of the links appearing in search results therefore has a significant impact on the types of information that will be accessed by the majority of people (witness how many people only ever use the first page - or even half page - of search results). Additionally, some search engines and social media sites have started to use personalised search results, which can prioritise results that are similar to pages we have previously viewed - thus forming a so-called 'search bubble' or 'filter bubble' that might limit our exposure to new views.

Despite this, there is still some debate over just how significant the filter bubble effect is. A 2015 study of Facebook data suggested the effect was minimal or non-existent - but the study itself was quickly criticised. Filter bubbles returned to the media spotlight after political events including the election of Donald Trump and the UK Brexit vote. The Guardian attempted to examine the effect in 2018, while the University of Illinois has an interesting page examining the effect and presenting an experiment you can try for yourself.

This can be a useful starting point for exercise 1.8, and also links closely to the IB Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course.


Updated: 2018-08-17
ITGS news articles

Introduction to ITGS: News articles

There are literally thousands of news articles students might choose for the introduction exercises 1.2 and 1.4 in the ITGS textbook. Below are a few that I have used successfully in class. You can also read the latest ITGS news articles by following our ITGS Twitter account.

There are also a number of articles which I have used in ITGS introduction lessons in the past. Although these articles are a bit older, they highlight the diverse topics and issues that will be covered in the ITGS course. They might also be useful for introduction lessons for pre-IB students.


Updated: 2018-08-17
ITGSopedia

ITGSopedia

ITGSopedia is a collection of links and resources for all topics in the ITGS syllabus. The original site was recently taken offline but a mirror is still available with all information intact.
Updated: 2018-08-01
Wired magazine cover

Wired Magazine

Wired Magazine regularly features technology related articles that are relevant to the ITGS course, and others that may provide interesting wider reading for teachers and students. Print and electronic subscription options are available.

I would strongly recommend you check out the Wired web site too, as it also contains very useful articles.


Updated: 2018-07-17
ITGS Triangle handouts

Introduction to ITGS: First lesson handouts

The ITGS Triangle and the IB Command Terms are essential resources to help get students in the "IB / ITGS mindset" from the start of the course. I give these handouts in the first ITGS lesson:
Updated: 2018-07-17
You can view previous updates to the website here.