Core topic 3: Communication systems
Timing and resources
Time: 5 weeks
Syllabus: pages 39–43 Section 9.3
Software/course specifications: page 14
Text: Heinemann IPT HSC—G. K. Powers (chapter 3)
H1.1Applies an understanding of the nature and function of information technologies to a specific practical situation
H1.2Explains and justifies the way in which information systems relate to information processes in a specific context
H2.1Analyses and describes a system in terms of the information processes involved
H2.2Develops solutions for an identified need which address all of the information processes
H3.1Evaluates the effect of information systems on the individual, society and the environment
H3.2Demonstrates ethical practice in the use of information systems, technologies and processes
H4.1Proposes ways in which information systems will meet emerging needs
H5.2Assesses the ethical implications of selecting and using specific resources and tools
Students learn to:
1.Characteristics of communication systems
(a)Describe a communication system in terms of five basic components—data source, transmitter, transmission medium, receiver, destination.
(b)Identify and describe a communication protocol.
(c)Explain the process of handshaking.
(d)Describe the speed of transmission—bandwidth, bps, baud rate.
(e)Describe methods of error checking—parity checking, checksum, CRC.
(f)Identify and apply communication settings—bps, data bits, parity, stop/start bits, flow control.
2.Examples of communication systems
(a)Describe teleconferencing—audio conference, video conference. Advantages and disadvantages.
(b)Identify the participants, data/information and information technology of teleconferencing.
(c)Describe messaging systems:
traditional systems: telephone, fax.
electronic mail: email address, subject, carbon copy, blind carbon copy, reply, quoting, forwarding, address book, mailing list, signature.
(d)Identify the participants, data/information and information technology, need and purpose for
(e)Describe electronic commerce—EFTPOS, electronic banking.
(f)Identify the participants, data/information and information technology, need and purpose for electronic banking.
3.Transmitting and receiving
(a)Describe communication concepts—parallel transmission, serial transmission, asynchronous, synchronous, simplex, half-duplex, full-duplex, protocols, handshaking, network, terminals, workstations, LAN, WAN, private leased line, PSTN, packet switching.
(b)Diagrammatically represent and describe network topologies—star topology, ring topology, bus topology.
(c)Explain network access methods—ethernet, token ring.
(d)Identify and describe network hardware—NIC, file server, print server, mail server, Web server, routers, switches, bridges, gateways, hubs.
(e)Describe transmission media—twisted-pair cable, coaxial cable, fibre-optic cable, microwave, satellite, wireless LANs, mobile phones.
(f)Describe network software—network administrator, NOS, network administration tasks, logon, logoff.
(g)Explain the difference between intranet and Internet—firewalls, extranet.
4.Other information processes
(a)Describe collecting data for a communication system—telephone for voice mail, EFTPOS for electronic banking.
(b)Describe processing in a communication system—encoding, decoding, analog data, digital data.
(c)Understand encoding and decoding possibilities in transmission—analog data to analog signal, digital data to analog signal, digital data to digital signal, analog data to digital signal.
(d)Send attachments with email.
(e)Describe client-server architecture.
(f)Describe displaying data for a communication system—telephone for voice mail, EFTPOS for electronic banking.
5.Issues related to communication systems
(a)Describe and discuss issues related to messaging systems—social context, misinterpretation, power relationships, privacy, electronic junk mail, information overload.
(b)Describe and discuss issues related to the Internet—Internet trading, censorship, Internet banking, radio and video.
(c)Describe working from home using communication systems—advantages and disadvantages.
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