Fluency With Information Technology: Global Edition

Lawrence Snyder  
Total pages
August 2014
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Fluency With Information Technology: Global Edition
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For the introduction to Computer Science course

Fluency with Information Technology: Skills, Concepts, and Capabilities equips readers who are already familiar with computers, the Internet, and the World Wide Web with a deeper understanding of the broad capabilities of technology. Through a project-oriented learning approach that uses examples and realistic problem-solving scenarios, Larry Snyder teaches readers to navigate information technology independently and become effective users of today’s resources, forming a foundation of skills they can adapt to their personal and career goals as future technologies emerge.

Teaching and Learning Experience

This program presents a better teaching and learning experience—for you and your students.

  • Skills, Concepts, and Capabilities Promote Lifelong Learning: Three types of content prepare students to adapt to an ever-changing computing environment.
  • Engaging Features Encourage Students to become Fluent with Information Technology (FIT): Interesting hints, tips, exercises, and backgrounds are located throughout the text.
  • Student and Instructor Resources Enhance Learning: Supplements are available to expand on the topics presented in the text.


Skills, Concepts, and Capabilities Promote Lifelong Learning

Through three different types of content–skills, concepts, and capabilities–Fluency with Information Technologyprepares students to adapt to an ever-changing computing environment through lifelong learning:

  • Skills consist of competence and proficiency with contemporary computer applications like email, word processing, and Web searching. Skills make the technology immediately useful to students and ground students’ learning of other content in practical experience.
  • Concepts are the fundamental principles upon which information technology is based, such as how computers work, digital representation of information, and assessment of information authenticity. Concepts provide the principles on which students will build new understanding as IT evolves.
  • Capabilities are the aptitude to apply higher-level thinking in complex situations, such as problem solving, reasoning, complexity management, and troubleshooting. Capabilities embody modes of thinking that are essential to exploiting IT, but they apply in many other situations as well.

Engaging Features Encourage Students to become Fluent with Information Technology (FIT)

In-chapter and end-of-chapter featuresinclude:

  • fit TIP: Practical hints and suggestions for everyday computer use.
  • fit BYTE: Interesting facts and statistics.
  • fit CAUTION: Warnings and explanations of common mistakes.
  • Try It: Short, in-chapter exercises with solutions provided.
  • Checklists: A useful list of steps for completing a specific task.
  • Great fit Moments: A historical look at some of the major milestones in computing.
  • Great fit Minds: A closer look at some of the influential pioneers in technology.

New to this Edition

Topics are Explained in Contemporary Terms Consistent with Student Experience
The Sixth Edition of Fluency maintains the core “fluency vision,” while positioning the presentation squarely in the second decade of the 21st century.

  • Much of the text has been rewritten to accommodate how students encounter computation: advances in smartphones, HTML5, CSS3, and on and on. These affect how students use and perceive the fundamentals.
  • Topics like crowd sourcing, privacy, security, phishing, AI, netiquette, copyright, and so forth evolve, and so they must be explained in contemporary terms consistent with student experience.
  • As “ambient knowledge” changes—for example, unlike the past today’s students have at least heard a term like algorithm—concepts need to be explained with a new, more intuitive approach that promotes understanding. Other newly familiar terms have been similarly treated.
  • Part 1 has undergone a complete makeover. Chapter 1 “Defining IT,” Chapter 3 “Networking,” and Chapter 5 “Web” are (again) new. Chapter 4 “HTML” is redeveloped to teach HTML5 and CSS3. Chapter 2 “Human-Computer Interface” and Chapter 6 “Debugging” have been substantially revised.
  • In Part 2, the “bits part” of Chapter 7 “Digital Information” has been redeveloped, Chapter 9 “Computer Organization” has been completely rewritten to be more intuitive, and Chapter 10 “Algorithms” is new and much simplified.
  • In Part 3, Chapter 11 “Social Implications” is mostly new, and Chapter 12 “Privacy and Security” is completely revised to deal with recently revealed privacy threats (NSA) and ongoing security attacks. The “Spreadsheets” chapters (13 and 14) have been revised to increase compatibility with different implementations, including various Excel versions. Chapter 15 “Database Concepts” has a complete reformulation of the relational model. Chapter 16 the “iDiary Database” received a wholesale revision.
  • In Part 4, the “JavaScript” chapters (17–21) have been redeveloped to use the Firefox Scratchpad sandbox for code development, a definite pedagogical advance. Chapter 22, the artificial intelligence chapter, has had its Watson discussion augmented by a new interview with David Ferrucci, the Watson project leader.

Engaging Features Encourage Students to become Fluent with Information Technology

  • A number of TryIT exercises and the end-of-chapter Review Questions have been heavily revised; new exercises have been added.

Table of Contents

  • PART 1 Becoming Skilled at Computing
  • Chapter 1 Defining Information Technology
  • Chapter 2 Exploring the Human-Computer Interface
  • Chapter 3 The Basics of Networking
  • Chapter 4 A Hypertext Markup Language Primer
  • Chapter 5 Locating Information on the WWW
  • Chapter 6 An Introduction to Debugging
  • PART 2 Algorithms and Digitizing Information
  • Chapter 7 Representing Information Digitally
  • Chapter 8 Representing Multimedia Digitally
  • Chapter 9 Principles of Computer Operations
  • Chapter 10 Algorithmic Thinking
  • PART 3 Data and Information
  • Chapter 11 Social Implications of IT
  • Chapter 12 Privacy and Digital Security
  • Chapter 13 The Basics of Spreadsheets
  • Chapter 14 Advanced Spreadsheets for Planning
  • Chapter 15 Introduction to Database Concepts
  • Chapter 16 A Case Study in Database Organization
  • PART 4 Problem Solving
  • Chapter 17 Fundamental Concepts Expressed in JavaScript
  • Chapter 18 A JavaScript Program
  • Chapter 19 Programming Functions
  • Chapter 20 Iteration Principles
  • Chapter 21 A Case Study in Algorithmic Problem Solving
  • Chapter 22 Limits to Computation
  • Chapter 23 A Fluency Summary
  • Glossary
  • Answers to Selected Questions
  • Index