It is not possible to communicate ITGS unless an appropriate range of ITGS terminology has been developed. This does not only mean for use in class discussions, but equally important for writing both documentation for ITGS Projects and responding to questions on ITGS examinations. Not all terminology that a student many need is explicitly stated, but most be acquired in context over the two years of studying ITGS.
What is ITGS terminology? This refers to the words and phrases related to both to IT technologies and their use and also to social and ethical considerations relating to ITGS. Essentially, all terminology referring to the ITGS Triangle.
As a first level to acquiring the required ITGS for examinations, students must understand all of the terminology that appears in:
- ITGS Guide (updated January 2016)
- ITGS Case Study 2017: Wearable Technology – Kita Health Tech (KHT)
In fact, this point is emphasized by a separate section in the Case Study pointing out Key terms associated with Wearable Technology – Kita Health Tech (KHT). Several years ago there was some confusion about this list when the students were asked to define ‘cookie’ and it had not appeared on the list of key terms at the end of that case study. The point is – words that are included in the ITGS Guide are NOT repeated in the Key terms list in the Case Study. However, they may appear in the questions on the Paper 3 examination.
However, simply knowing the required terminology is only a starting point for understanding what is required and writing good Project documentation and appropriate responses on examinations.
Where do we go from here?
Students need to develop their ITGS vocabulary and awareness from specific scenarios, news articles and technologies that they use in class and encounter outside of class. Students who have not made an effort to learn correct terminology tend to write in their Project Requirement Specifications photoshop instead of identifying the specific application that they used i.e. Adobe Photoshop CC. This may seem tedious, but products do have a proper name, especially when writing about technical requirements. On examinations, weak ITGS students tend to write thing or something instead of the specific IT name/word for an object, application or action.
The original ITGS Guide was released in 2010 for first examination in 2012. Since 2010 there has been a evolution in new technologies and terminology. Whenever a new terminology is needed on examinations that did not appear in the Guide, it is defined within the question.
The new case studies published each each year address new scenarios not in the ITGS Guide. When conducting secondary and primary research for the Case Study, new terminology and concepts also must be noted so they can be used in writing responses to Paper 3. This vocabulary can be collaboratively collected and shared in a class wiki, website or cloud service such as Google Drive.
It is also important that key terminology from ITGS sources are noted in class in addition to those that a student may encounter on their own from media or first-hand experiences. Both Paper 1 and Paper 2 address contemporary situations. It is only possible to write knowledgeable responses if students have a range of scenarios to use as examples and have an understanding of the appropriate ITGS terminology.
One strategy for developing and recalling vocabulary is to note vocabulary closely related to the context in which is was learned. For example, when reading a news article, new phrases can be highlighted and also listed at the end of the article so that they remain in close proximity to the original context. The scenario can also be summarized according to key facts and the 4 questions used for Paper 2. This way students have a useful set of notes for preparing for ITGS Paper 1 and Paper 2.
Developing effective communication skills is one of the main 5 areas included in Approaches to Learning (ATL). Using strategies to acquire appropriate ITGS terminology contributes to this skill.