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.

Latest updates

Fire computer models

Fire spread models

Computer models can be used to predict the chances of wildfires breaking out, and the path they may take if they do. Wilder wildfires? Computing helps predict their path and fury gives a good overview of these models. Burning Question (The Atlantic) discusses why computer models of wild fires are becoming less accurate.

There are also several interactive computer models that students can use. Fire! is the most basic model, really little more than a visualisation of probabilities. However, it is useful for discussions on the accuracy of models. A Better Fire is a more advanced version that includes wind direction and strength, as well as forest density.

Updated: 2019-03-22
Driving simulator

Driving simulators

Along with flight simulators, driving simulators are the canonical example of simulator software. They range from quite basic software driving simulators (video) that run on most modern computers, to full-blown simulators with dedicated full motion hardware. Racing teams also make extensive use of simulators, as demonstrated by the Red Bull F1 Simulator with Mark Webber, On Board with Lewis Hamilton in the F1 Simulator, and Trying out Fernando Alonso's Ferrari F1 simulator (video).

Updated: 2019-03-22
Computer model

Various models

Updated: 2019-03-22
Car crash computer model

Car crash models

Car crash models can be used to test the strength of different car designs, the effects of different safety measures, and the potential injuries to passengers and pedestrians. Car crash simulation is a comprehensive article that covers many aspects of car crash models and simulations. The following new articles and videos cover car crash models from standard road cars to racing cars:

Updated: 2019-03-22
Types of computer

Types of computer

Supercomputing Super Powers (BBC) provides a graphical breakdown of the fastest supercomputers by speed, country, and operating system, while the TOP500 Supercomputing Sites is a regularly updated list of world's fastest supercomputers. The Green500 list is a similar concept, but instead of measuring raw performance, measures performance per Watt.

Cray - The Supercomputer Company have many examples of specifications and applications of supercomputers - the site is an essential read for this topic. Titan supercomputer is the world's most powerful (Telegraph) discusses the Titan supercomputer, while Building Titan: The 'world's fastest' supercomputer is a more in-depth analysis of it, including examples of how it will be used. In June 2013 this record was re-taken by China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer. What Is A Supercomputer? and The supercomputer behind the US nuclear arsenal give a good overview of supercomputers and the kinds of specifications we can expect them to have as of 2019.

For smaller devices, Pocket marvels: 40 years of handheld computers (ComputerWorld) has an interesting slideshow showing the developments in processing power, storage capacities, screen sizes, and input devices over the past 40 years.

Updated: 2019-03-21
Industrial robots

Case Study: Industrial robots resources

Industrial robots are becoming ever cheaper - and increasingly they are competing with people for jobs. The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) produces annual statistics about global use of robotics, which makes an interesting read.

Robots and unemployment

The New York Times' article Skilled Work, Without the Worker is a great introduction to this topic, with many examples, photos and a video. A $22,000 humanoid robot that competes with low-wage workers (MIT Technology Review) provides a good insight into how businesses can save money with robots, and the related social impacts in the Business & Employment sector - particularly on poorer workers. It's a Man vs. Machine Recovery (Business Week) and Marathon machine (Economist) both examine this impact on unskilled workers in more detail. The Guardian argues that most people are unprepared for the pace of robotic development and unaware of the potential threat to their jobs.

More Jobs Predicted for Machines, Not People (NY Times) discusses the many areas in which robots are taking human jobs; Will there be jobs left for a human being? delves deeper into these social impacts and asks whether the end of mass employment is near. Will Robots Create New Jobs When They Take Over Existing Ones? also addresses the issues of unemployment and reskilling. How to Protect Workers From Job-Stealing Robots argues that rather than causing mass unemployment, robots will actually boost the economy. Other articles argue that robotics will cause unemployment, but that this may affect women more than men due to the nature of jobs that can be automated.

Shift Change is a YouTube series of videos about how robotic technology can change, improve, and sometimes replace jobs. It examines how current technology might progress and the social impacts this will cause. The last job on Earth: imagining a fully automated world is another video in a similar vein.

Robots and safety

Safety is a concern wherever robots and humans are working alongside each other; heavy robotic arms could easily kill or seriously injure a nearby human worker. For this reason, robots and humans normally work in separate, fenced areas. However, Robots and Humans, Learning to work together (NY Times) discusses a new generation of robot with improved ability to sense its surroundings and work cooperately with humans.

Updated: 2019-03-19
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