Prelim Topic 2: Tools for information processes
Timing and resources
Time: 4 weeks
Syllabus: pages 18–25 Section 8.2
Texts: Heinemann IPT Prelim—G. K. Powers (chapter 2)
P1.1Describes the nature of information processes and information technology
P1.2Classifies the functions and operations of information processes and information technology
P2.1Identifies the information processes within an information system
P2.2Recognises the interdependence between each of the information processes
P3.1Identifies social and ethical issues
P4.1Describes the historical developments of information systems and relates these to current and emerging technologies
P5.1Selects and ethically uses computer based and non-computer based resources and tools to process information
P6.1Analyses and describes an identified need
P6.2Generates ideas, considers alternatives and develops solutions for a defined need
Students learn to:
(a)Describe and use a range of hardware collection devices—pointing devices, scanners, digital cameras, video cameras, microphones, keyboards and optical character readers.
(b)Describe and use software for collection—operating system, data entry into application software and Internet as a collection source.
(c)Identify some of the non-computer tools for collection—literature searches, surveys, interviews, form design and manual recording.
(d)Describe the social/ethical issues related to collection—bias, accuracy, copyright, privacy and ergonomics.
(a)Describe how hardware collection devices organise data by digitising—text, numbers, images and audio.
(b)Explain how application software organises data
(c)Identify some non-computer tools for organising—hardcopy systems, pen and paper methods.
(d)Describe the social/ethical issues related to organising—current trends, poorly organised data, suitable data.
(a)Identify the hardware requirements to carry out analysis—large amounts of storage, fast processing.
(b)Describe and use software analysis features for analysis—searching, sorting, modelling and simulations, ‘what-if’ predictions, charts.
(c)Identify some non-computer tools for analysing.
(d)Compare and contrast computer/non-computer tools.
(e)Describe the social/ethical issues related to analysing—
unauthorised analysis, incorrect analysis, privacy.
4.Storing and retrieving
(a)Describe and use a range of hardware devices to store and retrieve data—magnetic disk, magnetic tape, optical disk and flash memory.
(b)Describe and use the software used in storing and retrieving—hard interface software, file management software, file formats, DBMS, browsers, passwords.
(c)Identify non-computer tools for storing and retrieving—paper-based storage systems, microfiche, library.
(d)Describe the social/ethical issues related to storing and retrieving—security, unauthorised retrieval of data.
(a)Describe the hardware used for processing—system unit, CPU, integrated circuit, motherboard, control unit, ALU, registers, processing speed, memory (RAM, volatile, cache, ROM).
(b)Explain the operation of the CPU—fetch-execute cycle, i-time, e-time, pipelining.
(c)Identify the different types of processing—centralised, distributed, parallel.
(d)Explain how each piece of application software processes data by editing.
(e)Identify some non-computer tools for processing—documentation, DFD, system flowcharts.
(f)Describe the social/ethical issues related to processing—type of processing, ownership, bias.
6.Transmitting and receiving
(a)Explain communication concepts—serial/parallel, asynchronous/synchronous, simplex, half duplex and full duplex, baud rate, bits per second.
(b)Describe the hardware used in transmitting and receiving—communication within the computer (bus, expansion cards, port), modem, networks.
(c)Describe the software used in transmitting and receiving—communication software.
(d)Identify some non-computer tools for transmitting and receiving—mail system, telephone, fax, radio, TV.
(e)Describe the social/ethical issues related to transmitting and receiving—accuracy, security, net-etiquette, acknowledgment of source, privacy, nature of work, impact of the Internet on traditional business.
(a)Describe and use a range of hardware devices for display—screens, printers speakers, plotters.
(b)Describe software display features—reporting, formatting, spacing, mail merge, tables, charts.
(c)Identify some non-computer tools for display—storyboard, traditional methods.
(d)Describe the social/ethical issues related to display—communication skills, current trends, visually impaired, offensive material.
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