Information Technology in a Global Society

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IT – Information Technology

– Related with Computer Science

– Mostly, IT is about logic, system-analyzing, programming, graphic designing, networking, database etc, which is require strong knowledge of science, especially for mathematic and logic.

The Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS) course is the study and evaluation of the impact of information technology (IT) on individuals and society. It explores the advantages and disadvantages of the use of digitized information at the local and global level. ITGS provides a framework for the student to make informed judgments and decisions about the use of IT within social contexts.

ITGS Syllabus
Section 1: social and ethical issues

1.1 Reliability
Reliability refers to the operation of hardware, the design of software, the accuracy of data or the correspondence of data with the real world. Data may be unreliable if it is entered incorrectly or if it becomes outdated. For example, a medical record that becomes dissociated from the patient it refers to becomes unreliable. The reliability of machines, software and data determines our confidence in their value.
1.2 Integrity
Integrity refers to the correspondence of data with itself, at its creation. Data lacks integrity when it has been changed accidentally or tampered with. For example, a hacker might change driver license data resulting in arrests of innocent people.
1.3 Security
Security refers to the protection of hardware, software, machines and networks from unauthorized access, alteration, or destruction. Security measures include restricted access to machines and networks and encryption of information. The degree of security of information systems determined society’s confidence in the information contained in the systems.
1.4 Privacy and anonymity
Privacy is the ability of individuals and groups to determine for themselves when, how and to what extent information about themselves is shared with others. At its extreme, privacy becomes anonymity, which might be called for in some contexts bit is dangerous in others. For example, discussion of a delicate subject might require anonymity, or at least privacy. On the other hand, anonymity could also conceal the perpetrators of criminal, terrorist or computer hacking acts.
1.5 Authenticity
Authenticity means establishing the user’s identity beyond reasonable doubt. Authenticating the user is crucial in many situations, particularly in business and legal matters. A simple example of authentication is user login onto a network. A more advanced example would be the use of encrypted digital signatures in a business.
1.6 Intellectual property
Intellectual property includes ideas, discoveries, writings, works of art, software, collections and presentations of data. Copyrights, trademarks and patents legally protect intellectual property, but easy and accurate duplication methods made available by IT can undermine such protections. On the other hand, the same methods create opportunity for inexpensive dissemination of information.
1.7 Equality of access
IT has the potential to offer universal access to information, regardless of distance, age, race, gender or other personal characteristics. However, the above characteristics, and cost, can also bar individuals or groups from access. For example, while telelearning brings previously unavailable opportunities to everyone’s doorstep, the cost of hardware, software or course fees might place the learning beyond the reach of an average person.
1.8 Control
As an instrument of control, IT improves reliability, accuracy and speed of systems. However, it can also be used to control people. An automatic aircraft landing system provides an example of increased reliability resulting from IT control. Employer surveillance of employees represents a new kind of control imposed on people.
1.9 Globalization and cultural diversity
Globalization means the diminishing of geographical, political, economic, and cultural boundaries. IT has played a major role in reducing these boundaries. For example, any dramatic event anywhere in the world can be broadcast almost instantly by television or on the Internet. However, there is a fear that easier communication can become a source of cultural homogeneity. The new global village provides a worldwide cultural awareness, but may lead to less diversity.
1.10 Policies and standards
Policies are enforceable measures intended to promote appropriate use. They can be developed by governments, business, and private groups or individuals. They normally consist of rules governing access to, or use of, information, hardware and software. For example, a national policy on IT security would need to define what constitutes unlawful access to networks and how to treat transgression. Policies also affect the exchange of information, for example, by making it subject to copyright laws. In general, policies can promote or restrict access, modify behavior or require the fulfillment of certain conditions to or during use.
Standards are social or technical rules and conventions that enable compatibility and therefore facilitate communication of interoperability between different IT systems and their components. They might govern the design and use of hardware, software and information. For example, communication protocols used on the Internet, the ASCII representation for characteristics, or the design of the printer port on a personal computer are all governed by standards.
1.11 People and machines
The interaction of humans with IT hardware raises all the issues encountered in this section, as well as additional ones such as the following.
* Who controls the design of technology and the peace of all its introduction?
* How sale and effective is the design?
* Is technology going to extend human faculties and make work easier and more pleasant, or are machines going to displace humans and lead to mass unemployment?
Is technology used appropriately, or should a better, possibly non-technological alternative be found?
Which social and ethical issues arise from a comparison of people and machines in the following areas: stamina, memory, accuracy, speed, analysis, synthesis, judgment, innovation, creativity?
Section 2: IT systems in a social context

2.1 Basics: hardware and networks
2.1.1 Systems fundamentals
2.1.2 Networks
2.2 Applications
2.2.1 Software fundamentals
2.2.2 Databases and spreadsheets
2.2.3 Word processing and desktop publishing
2.2.4 Images, sound and presentations
2.2.5 Modelling and simulations
2.2.6 Tutorials, training and wizards (assistants)
2.3 Communication systems
2.3.1 The Internet
2.3.2 Personal and public communications
2.4 Integrated systems
2.4.1 Robotics
2.4.2 Artificial intelligence and expert systems
Section 3: Areas of impact

Students at HL are required to study all six areas of impact. Students at SL are required to study part A and a minimum of two other areas of impact chosen from part B.

Part A
3.1 Business and employment

Part B
3.2 Education
3.3 Health
3.4 Arts, entertainment and leisure
3.5 Science and the environment
3.6 Politics and government

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