Information Technology in a Global Society is an educational course taught for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. It is a Group 3 subject in the IB Program. However, it may be taught to fulfill a student's Group 6 requirement. The course teaches students various components of Information Technology, but also focuses on how these technologies affect the world around them.




Curriculum

The ITGS curriculum may be divided up into three components: IT Systems, Areas of Impact, and Social and Ethical Issues.

IT Systems

Here a student studies the core components of Information Technology. A student must be able to describe how this technology functions. Information technology itself covers a broad array of material. Technology covered includes the Internet, multimedia, and communication systems. The students must be able to state how a technology functions, its use, and how it impacts the world. However, ITGS is considered more to be a social science than acomputer science course. This is because IT systems form the core of the students knowledge for the course, but the focus is on how these systems change culture and society. Without knowing how the technology operates, the student cannot understand how it affects society.

Areas of Impact

In accordance with the IB ITGS Guide, students are assessed on their ability to see how Information Technology impacts six different areas of knowledge. The first is Business and Employment. This first area is notable because for Paper 2 (part of the External Assessment for ITGS) requires students to answer questions for Business and Employment. For the remainder of that test students pick from two of the remaining five areas of impact. These are :Education, Health, Science and the Environment, Government and Politics, and Arts and Entertainment.

Social and Ethical Issues

This portion of the ITGS curriculum states that students must be able to see how technology affects society using eleven key terms. [1]. These key terms are: reliability, integrity, security, privacy and anonymity, authenticity, intellectual property, equality of access, control, globalization and cultural diversity, policies and standards, and people and machines.Students must be able to apply these concepts to the IT issues they are studying, and see how they can affect the areas of impact.




Internal Assessment

The Internal Assessment for Standard Level ITGS is a project. This project has students identify a social problem and use IT systems to fix the social problem. Students must go through the process for creating an actual IT solution. This includes: identifying a social problem, meeting with a client on a regular basis, drawing up potential solutions, planning a chosen solution, creating that solution, testing and editing that solution, and implementing that solution to solve the problem. Students keep a detailed log of their progress which is sent to the IBO for evaluation. Students are also required to demonstrate how their solution solves their social problem. This is designed to teach students how IT solutions are actually implemented to solve problems in the world.

External Assessment

At the end of the course students are given an external assessment, a final exam which is sent around the world to be marked. For the standard level exam students are given two "papers" or sections of the exam.

Paper One

Paper One is a short answer test. Students have one hour to complete four questions relating to ITGS. Each question is worth 10 marks, or points. The question can be on almost any topic, but does not correspond to a specific area of impact and usually requires students to write only about three to four paragraphs for each question.

Paper Two

Paper Two focuses on specific areas of impact. Students are given two hours to complete three questions, each pertaining to a specific area of impact. Each question is worth 20 marks. As described above, students select two areas of impact to go along with Business and Employment. These questions are longer than the ones on Paper One, and require students to write a short argument on an IT issue for each Area of Impact.