What approaches best prepare students for ITGS examinations? Not a simple question to answer. This is the first part in the forth-coming series of blogs focused on this topic.
Students must know ITGS terminology, but what does this mean?
ITGS terminology refers to both terminology specific to IT concepts and to the ITGS vocabulary that relates to social and ethical considerations. This means that all of the terminology that is found in the ITGS Guide may appear in examinations. Moreover, any terminology which has gained popularity over the lifetime of the ITGS Guide may also appear on examinations. These terms will be defined on the examination paper. For example, the terminology MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) and 3D Printing does not appear in the Guide and may be defiined within a question.
Is knowing all of the terminology in the ITGS Guide sufficient for understanding the questions on examinations? YES. Is it sufficient for responding to questions? NO. Students have the freedom to choose which evidence, examples and explanations they will use to respond to particular questions. If students have not noted common ITGS phrases and terminology, how can they possibly write meaningful responses?
Students with weak ITGS vocabulary skills resort to using words such as ‘thing’ and ‘etc’ or using broad generic terminology rather than the actual name for particular IT tools. They confuse terms such as reliability and validity or use insecure for not secure when referring to IT systems.
What is the best way to learn ITGS terminology? The answer – in context. Here are some examples of how this can be achieved:
1. When reading news articles students should highlight both isolated words and phrases that could be useful in writing responses. For example, consider the article Snowden leaks: Canada ‘spied on airport travellers’. As students read the article, they need to note key words and phrases that they could use in their responses:
- electronic spy agency
- collected data
- wireless devices
- free wi-fi system
- documents leaked by Edward Snowden
- prohibited by law from targeting anyone without an appropriate warrant
- collect foreign intelligence/ intelligence services
- intercepting overseas phone and internet traffic
- legally authorised to collect and analyse metadata
- Metadata is the information about a communication – such as the date and location of a call or email – rather than the details of what was actually said or written.
- hot spots
- track the travellers’ movements / internet and phone surveillance
2. When viewing videos, students should take note of key phrases and terminology for later investigation. The video Millions Of TARGET Shoppers May Have Had Credit Card Information Stolen is a good example of how ITGS terminology can be experienced in context.
3. Whenever hands-on activities involve using applications and online services, the related terminology should be pointed out. This includes word processing, databases, spreadsheets, photo editing softwware, and all other topics in the ITGS Guide where the students can gain first-hand experience in their use and place the terminology in video context.
How should students save their vocabulary for later review? Many students make lists of vocabulary words with definitions. However, an alternative approach is to visualize vocabulary is through mindmaps and through diagrams. Wireless Network System- Satellites demonstrates how visualizing vocabulary can also show related processes and concepts.
Creative Commons: Computers and Networks – Wireless Network Diagrams
Learning ITGS terminology in context leads to writing meaningful responses on examinations. Forming word groupings both in text, mindmaps and diagrams helps to establish relationships between the words and phrases.
Coming next: the Importance of Command Terms