The ITGS Paper 2 exam requires students to write about a previously unseen news article, evaluating the impacts, explaining how the technology works, and evaluating a possible solution. Despite using unseen articles, students need to regularly practice paper 2 style questions to ensure they know what to expect in the final exam.
Below are 10 articles that will work well for paper 2. They may need some editing before they can be used – typically the paper 2 articles from the IB are around 25-30 lines long, but they provide a good basis for the exam and all raise clear social and ethical issues within one of the ITGS Areas of Application.
Article 1: Home and Leisure
How Your Tweets Reveal Your Home Location (Technology Review) is a little like the November 2012 paper 2 about the geo-tagging of photographs without users’ knowledge, this article discusses how Tweets can be analysed to reveal the home location of the user. This technology is currently being developed at MIT, who hope to improve its accuracy in the future.
Article 2: Home and Leisure
Fulham FC introduces tablet CCTV (BBC) discusses Fulham football club’s intention to install CCTV technology throughout its stadium, connected to tablets and hand held devices that will allow security staff to monitor the grounds in real time. The article explains how this is for security reasons, but raises several possible ITGS social and ethical concerns.
Article 3: Home and Leisure
Texting drivers kill 16,000 in the US. The article title sums it up clearly: distraction from mobile phones kills thousands of drivers every year. This article has a lot of potential for students to come up with some very interesting solutions to the problem – both technical and non-technical – for criteria D. It could also be useful starting material for classroom debates too.
Article 4: Politics and Government
Airline captain, lawyer, child on terror ‘watch list’ is an article focused on the potential problems with errors in databases, particularly high-risk databases such as those maintained by many governments. There are a lot of potential social impacts here (both positive and negative) which should lead to some interesting criteria Cs. This could also prove an interesting challenge when it comes to finding a solution.
Article 5: Health
Doctors Wary about online house calls discusses the benefits and drawbacks of online consultations and tele-medicine in general. This is a really good article for paper 2, dealing with fundamental hardware, software, and networking technologies as well as raising several social and ethical considerations and causing a wide range of impacts. The Health area means security and privacy are even more important than ever.
Article 6: Home and Leisure
Malaysia missing plane: Armchair aeroplane hunters head online. Dealing with the (at the time of writing, still missing) Malaysia flight MH370, this article examines the use of crowd-sourcing in efforts to find the plane, by asking volunteers to scour satellite mapping images. A similar case is that of Steve Fossett, whose plane disappeared in 2007. This article should be a good challenge to find a single, solid social and ethical issue which can be evaluated.
Article 7: Politics and Government
Government warned over ‘them and us’ online services. Governments of many countries, including the US and UK, are gradually moving towards online provision of services for their citizens. This article examines the benefits of these services and the potential problems caused by making them ‘online only’ – removing option of face-to-face or paper-based services.
Article 8: Politics and Government / Health
Fears over pro-suicide web pages. Tying in with both politics and government issues relating to censorship and health issues related to online medical advice, this article discusses the problem of ‘pro-suicide’ sites: sites that provide advice and sometimes encouragement to users who may be contemplating suicide.
Article 9: Education
Professor Leaves a MOOC in Mid-Course in Dispute Over Teaching. Despite online courses becoming very popular recently, there is still considerable debate over their effectiveness. This article examines some of the problems encountered by teachers, students, and course providers in the early days of this technology. This article could generate some interesting solutions in criteria D.
Article 10: Business and Employment
How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did. ITGS students are probably more aware than most of the data collection techniques used by search engines, supermarket loyalty card systems, and so on. However, even they may be surprised at the potential impacts of some of the data that has been collected by the stakeholders in this example.
You can find ITGS paper 1 resources here.