Information Technology in a Global Society

Warning: This page serves as my open notebook on my ongoing teaching of ITGS. It will be updated and filled in with more details as I have time. I apologize in advance for any incomplete sentences or unfinished thoughts…

My 2 year ITGS curriculum map

Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS) is an IB Diploma class that I would describe as 1/3 Social Science, 1/3 Technology Skills, & 1/3 Project Management. I have taught ITGS at the Standard Level (SL) for two years, and this year we have introduced the Higher Level course (HL) which includes an additional 90 hours of coursework on AI, Robotics, IT project management, and a researched case study.

In preparation of 2015 I spent a few weeks over summer vacation in 2015 dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s of my unit plans.  ITGS is very broad subject, covering all basic IT Systems (Strand 3), and the social and ethical impacts (Strand 1) that they have on the global society (Strand 2). ITGS is taught through a triangle to help give students a framework for tackling such a broad concept.  Additionally students need to master a specific IT skill in order to complete their Internal Assessment (client project).

I use a wide variety of resources for academic classwork, and an equally broad variety of sources for building project skills.

Year 1: Information Technology

The first year is foundational and focused on teaching basic terminology, software programs, and preparation for individual client projects. Every unit has a mix of academic work, activities, vocabulary quizzes, short essay exercises, research projects, a unit exam followed by a mini-project. We have 4 mini-projects (website, edited video, simple relational database) in addition to a WordPress blog students maintain and update as their technical skills improve students spend most of the Spring term completing their IA.  Additionally students are expected to research, write-up, post, and comment on two articles for each unit (We use a Facebook group for that, it is easiest).

Unit 1 – What is ITGS?

Students study course concepts, set up a blog, create an infographic about ITGS, and begin finding/posting/comment on IT articles.

Unit 2 – Building Hardware

Unit Project: Model a Consumer Electronic (google Sketchup), 3D print it, Research the life cycle, then make a poster detailing the assembly of the product.

Unit 3 – Using Apps 

Basic Introduction to Algorithmic thinking. For final project Students create a video documentary on critical software disasters. Students also write a short essay on path dependency in software based on this excellent article about the Bash Worm Bug.

Unit 4 – Networks

Students create a website on a subtopic of ITGS Strand 2. from scratch using open source coding Bootstrap & GitHub. They also complete a detailed report on our school Network.

Unit 5 – Digital StoryTelling 

Students create a survey on Intellectual Property then make an infographic of the data.

Unit 6 – Managing Data

Students build a database and then take a full practice IB exam.

Unit 7 – Knowledge in Action: Client Project (Internal Assessment)

Year 2: In a Global Society   

Unit 1 – People, Technology, & Ethics

Unit 0- AI, Robotics & Expert Systems (HL only; HW + mini project completed over summer).

Unit 2 – Modeling Reality: Maps, Algorithms, & Formulas

Unit 3 – Liberty, Markets, & Governance

Unit 3b- IT in Organizations (HL only)

The Autumn term is dedicated to big picture thinking, where students are exposed to the big questions. Then after the winter break the class shifts into a higher gear looking at real world applications through Strand 2 categories, our units shrink to 2-3 weeks (from 4-5).  Students complete review vocab quizzes, write mini-essays, produce a small research project for each strand 2 category, and for final unit assessments we practice past papers. During the winter break HL students work on their investigative case study.

Unit 4 – Business

Unit 5 – Environment

Unit 6 – Home and Leisure

Unit 7 – Health

Full Mock Paper 1 exercise

Unit 8 – Government

Unit 9 – Education

In the final 5 weeks of the class we do two major projects. We go very big with my favorite project, Digital Utopia. Then we go very small with a highly focused education podcast assignment.  We then turn to exam review for the final week of the class before the IB exams.

*Our school only allots 190 hours for our 2 year IB classes. The IB recommends 150 for SL, and 240 for HL.  HL students have to work overtime to complete the course, while SL students get extra time to create quality projects.

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