ITGS Summer Reading Challenge!

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Some great fiction books with ITGS related themes

It’s my favorite time of the year: beach reading season!  Before my future ITGS students let out for Summer Break I presented them with a summer reading challenge. If they read a book, fiction or non, that dealt with Informational Technology in a Global Society themes and gave a review to the class then they would start off next year with a nice bonus credit.

Next week I will be in New Mexico to receive IB training to teach Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS).  Next year I will be shepherding 11th and 12th graders through the IB ITGS program. (I am taking over for a current teacher going on leave who graciously   I am incredibly excited about this opportunity and very much looking forward to next year.  Informational Technologies and all the innovations they are brining about–cellphones, robotics, self-driving cars, social networks, etc.–are rapidly transforming our world, reshaping our societies and economies as profoundly as the industrial revolution did a century ago.

Some of my all-time favorite books are books that have themes that related to what we study in ITGS.  Below is a list of important—and mostly excellent—books that deal with important ITGS themes.  I have included both non-fiction and fiction books.  Some of these books are true classics, and nearly all of them are fascinating works with ideas that you will want to be aware of.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list.  I encouraged students to find their own books and then explain how it related to the course.  PLEASE NOMINATE YOUR OWN SELECTION IN THE COMMENTS! 

Non Fiction Books

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick (2011)

Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe by George Dyson (2011)

Blown to Bits: Your Life Liberty, and Happiness after the Digital Explosion 

by Hal Abelson, Ken Ledeen, and Harry Lewis

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee (2013)

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (2011).

The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That is Connecting the World by David Kirkpatrick

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin D. Mitnick, William L. Simon, Steve Wozniak

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier (2013)

Zero Day by Mark Russinovich 

The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen (1997)

Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirky (2007)

The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story by Michael Lewis (2001)

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (2010) by Nicholas Carr 

The Myths of Security: What the Computer Security Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know by John Vienna

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You by Eli Pariser

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

Writing on the Wall: Social Media – The First 2,000 Years by Tom Standage (2013)

This Machine Kills Secrets: Julian Assange, the Cypherpunks, and Their Fight to Empower Whistleblowers by Andy Greenberg

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsin

Dark Pools: The Rise of the Machine Traders and the Rigging of the U.S. Stock Market by Scott Patterson

We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson

Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park’s Code-breaking Computers

The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-line Pioneers by Tom Standage (2009)

Code And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0 by Lawrence Lessing 

Fiction Books

Cryptonomicon  by Neal Stephson 

The Two Faces of Tomorrow  by James P. Hogan

The Circle by David Eggers 

Little brother by Cory Doctorow

I, Robot by Issac Asminov 

Microserfs by Douglas Coupland

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The City and the Stars by Clarke, Arthur C.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick

Readme by Neal Stephenson 

Galatea 2.2 by Richard Powers 

2001 A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson


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