Teach Computing

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

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Examples of Local Cryptocurrencies

Digital Money for Local Communities covers three examples of country-wide c...

Hash function A hash function takes arbitrary sized input data (e.g. a fil...

Cryptocurrencies vs regular currencies

What is Bitcoin and How Does it Work? is a high level overview of the Bitco...

Examples of Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is by far the most well known cryptocurrency. The Bitcoin website w...

Practice paper 3 exam questions

One of the drawbacks of the yearly case study is that there are no past p...

Emergency Management System Explainer Video

This short video gives an overview of some EMIS features. It includes many ...

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

For some functionality, an EMIS may also be connected to a GIS (Geographic ...

Programming languages - from Scratch to machine code

The CS Field Guide has a very comprehensive guide to different types of pro...

Assembly language simulators

There are several assembly language simulators available for use online. Si...

Resources discount offer

6. The bigger picture

Lesson resources

The Bigger Picture game
The Bigger Picture revision game
Recommended GCSE Computer Science textbooks
Edexcel Computer Science textbooks

6.1.1 Impact of technology on society

Computing Ethics

Ethics unit lesson pack - PG Online

These free collections of lesson resources from PG Online address ethical issues related to Computer Science. The four packs contain similar content but are tailored to individual IGCSE, GCSE, and A-Level exam boards. The PG Online website has a wide range of (paid) resources for other units and levels too.

Updated: 2017-10-17
Emerging issues

Edexcel GCSE Computer Science: Emerging Issues

A revision video for Edexcel topic 6.1 Emerging Issues. This final topic of the Edexcel syllabus covers a wide range of concepts - from artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing, to environmental and legal impacts of technology.

Although this is designed for the Edexcel GCSE syllabus, it is also relevant to the Edexcel IGCSE syllabus.

Updated: 2017-11-05

6.1.2 Ethical impact of technology

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
Ethics in Computing

Ethics in Computing

Ethics in Computing covers a wide range of ethical situations from intellectual property to free speech and privacy. Different areas are covered - including government, medical, and educational. Each section is subdivided and has a plethora of links to case studies or news articles. This means some work is needed to find the most relevant articles, and the site itself is probably better suited to older students.

Updated: 2015-05-07
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

6.1.3 Legal impact of using technology

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
UK Computing Laws

UK Computing Laws

This video from Computer Science Tutor covers the main UK computing laws required by most GCSE and A-Level courses. This includes the Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Computer Misuse Act. The requirements of each are explained in the creator's usual clear style.

Updated: 2018-12-08

6.1.4 Emerging trends

Quantum computing

Quantum computing

Quantum computing is still a largely theoretical field. Nevertheless, students are required to have a basic understanding of how quantum computers work and what their applications may be. The two videos How Does a Quantum Computer Work? and Quantum Computing 2017 Update address the first question, covering key terminology such as qubits, spin, and alignment.

A Beginner’s Guide to Quantum Computing discusses the problems that classical computers cannot solve, and thus the potential applications for quantum computers.

Updated: 2017-11-04