Revision notes, activities, lesson plans, teaching ideas, and other resources for GCSE, A-Level, and IB Computer Science teachers and students.
Device Specifications is a simple site with a huge database of smart phones...
Smart phone specs explained
This excellent site is a detailed guide to smart phone specifications, expl...
Software as a Service (Saas)
This short video gives an overview of Software as a Service (SaaS), which s...
Amazon EC2 - Elastic Cloud Server
Amazon Elastic Cloud (Amazon EC) is a good example of Infrastructure as a S...
IGCSE ICT provide short but clear notes and diagrams covering the different...
CommandPoint by Northrop Grumman offers a range of CAD systems for various ...
TriTech Software Systems is a company that specialises in Computer Aided Di...
London Ambulance CAD failure
The 1992 London Ambulance Service CAD failure is probably the most notoriou...
Washington State 911 Failure
A 911 emergency telephone system in Washington State and Oregon shut down f...
Information coding systems
Click here for recommended AQA A-Level Computer Science textbooks.
Characters, Symbols and the Unicode Miracle
Characters, Symbols and the Unicode Miracle explains how ASCII arose from the need to communicate data in a compatible manner between computer systems, and the problems that arise with this apparently simple task. It then discusses the creation of the Unicode system.
Unicode table is a nice scrollable web page which lists all of the unicode characters. The title and a brief description of each section is presented while you scroll. This page is useful for helping students realise just how many different characters need to be represented by computer systems, and the problems this would cause with a standard like Unicode.
Error checking and correction
Parity and Checksums activity
The card flip 'magic' game is a great idea from Computer Science Unplugged. The teacher sets up a grid of black/white cards and asks students to turn over one card without the teacher seeing. Using parity rules, the teacher is able to 'magically' determine which card the students turned over. This is a really fun game which demonstrates how simple techniques like odd/even partity can be used to solve significant problems.
The Computer Science Unplugged page has a range of support material: instructions for teachers, videos of the activity being performed, and a PDF download with extension activities and details about check digits in ISBNs.
This interactive online game is like a digital version of the parity card game. Students are presented with an 8x8 grid. They must first set the parity bits correctly using even parity. The computer will then scramble the grid and change a single bit, which students must identify using the rules of parity.