Teach Computing

Revision notes, activities, lesson plans, teaching ideas, and other resources for GCSE, A-Level, and IB Computer Science teachers and students.

What's New

Boolean logic worksheet pack

These three Boolean logic worksheets have exam style questions on logic sta...

Edexcel Computer Science (9-1)

by Ann Weidmann et al Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Book Depository This bo...

Dijkstra's algorithm video

This video is probably the best explanation of Dijkstra's algorithm for IB ...

Input-Process-Output (IPO) Model

The Input-Process-Output model is a simple topic but some students sometime...

Hexadecimal

A comprehensive review of hexadecimal. The video covers not only how to u...

Subprograms, Local Variables & Structured Programming

Subprograms are known by several different names - methods, functions, proc...

Utility Software and Models

Some students find the difference between operating system software and ut...

Data Structures

This video explains different types of data structures - 1 dimensional ar...

Operating System (OS) - GCSE Computer Science

A detailed overview of operating systems, starting with the general tasks t...

6. The bigger picture

6.1.1 Be aware of current and emerging trends

Quantum Computing

Quantum Computing

The video Quantum Computing Explained from the University of Southern California briefly explains the basic concepts of quantum computers and how they differ from classical computers.

Closing in on Quantum Computing is a more detailed article and video which explain why quantum computers are hard to build and program, and the advantages they might offer.

An article from Newsweek discusses the current developments in quantum computing and possible applications, from cryptography to defence and research. Time also has a short list of Ways Quantum Computing Will Change Everything


Updated: 2015-04-25

6.1.2 Impact of computing on individuals, society and the environment

6.1.3 Ethical and legal issues

Ethical case studies

Database ethics case study

Should Companies Admit They've Been Hacked? This is an extremely relevant case study as the past few years as seen a slew of high-profile companies attacked by criminals intent on stealing sensitive customer details (usually credit card details and passwords) from their databases. Some companies chose to hide the breaches from their customers while others were open about being compromised. This case study discusses the ethics of each approach.


Updated: 2015-04-29
NSA Internet surveillance

NSA Internet surveillance

In June 2013, the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers published revelations about a secret, quasi-legal US government Internet surveillance programme known as PRISM and operated by the National Security Agency (NSA). In the following weeks global media continued publishing revelations of ever more extraordinary surveillance systems. First, revelations that the NSA had worked with the British intelligency agency GCHQ to side-step legal issues, then evidence that online images were being collected and mined, and finally, confirmation that thousands of mobile phones had been monitored and tracked. Foreign allies were quickly alienated as it was revealed that the NSA had spied on supposedly friendly governments and ministers, including the Germans, Chileans, and Brazilians. The articles below highlight some of the key events in the scandal, and make excellent material for classroom discussion of the ethics of surveillance.


Updated: 2015-05-06
Enemy of the State DVD

Enemy of the State DVD

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Instant Video

Many of the surveillance technologies and methods featured in Enemy of the State - which features Will Smith as a lawyer tracked down by government agents - may seem pure fantasy. However, recent revelations about NSA spying once again make this a relevant and pertinent film that deals with contemporary issues.


Updated: 2015-05-06
United States of Secrets PBS documentary

United States of Secrets

A compelling two-part PBS documentary about the US government (and particularly the NSA's) warrantless surveillance of the Internet of millions, which was only revealed after Edward Snowden leaked classified information

The documentary does a good job of addressing both sides of the surveillance argument, featuring interviews with government insiders, including those who were the architects of the now infamous surveillance systems.

Watch the documentary on the PBS website


Updated: 2015-05-06
Ethical case studies in computer science

Ethical case studies

Santa Clara University has some excellent case studies relating to many aspects of information technology that can make great material for classroom discussions or assignments. Some particularly useful ones include:

Emails Exposed, which discusses the ethical implications of email monitoring and IT acceptable use policies, including the issue of user knowledge and consent. This case study is very relevant to students as it deals with monitoring performed by a university.

Removing a Search Result: An Ethics Case Study which discusses the long term impact of online information and ethical issues relating to its removal from the online record.


Updated: 2015-05-07

6.1.4 Intellectual Property

Free software

Free Software

Free software is a video which does a good job of explaining how free software is much more than free (gratis). It talks about the freedoms offered by FOSS and provides lots of examples. It also covers some of the more practical benefits of free software by explaining problems that can occur when commercial closed source developers drop support for their older versions.

A common question that students ask is how companies can make money with free software. Where's the money in free software? accompanies the above video and addresses this issue.


Updated: 2015-04-29
Linux Live Distributions

Linux Live distributions

Linux is one of the best-known examples of free software and today many Linux distributions include live CD functionality that allow users to try the operating system without formatting or partitioning their hard drives. Trying a live distribution from CD (or USB flash disk for better performance) can be a great way to introduce students to free software and the programs that are available in a relatively safe environment.


Updated: 2015-04-20
Open source software

Open Source vs Free Software

The Open Source Initiative page has a very clear definition of what it considers to be open source software. The Free Software Foundation page is slightly less clear but also worth reading. It should be remembered that although often grouped together, "open source software" and "free software" are not the same thing.


Updated: 2015-04-29