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Business Education | Computer Applications | Technology Curriculum | Texas | Computer Science

What Is Principles of Information Technology?

May 2nd, 2024 | 9 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for iCEV, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students by listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

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If you teach business education in Texas, chances are you'll be asked to teach the Principles of Information Technology course. It’s critical to meet your TEKS for this course to ensure that your students are successful.

But what exactly does the Principles of Information Technology course entail, and how can you ensure you meet your TEKS standards?

In this article, you’ll learn what to expect from the Principles of Information Technology course and the TEKS knowledge and skills statements you need to satisfy when teaching.

What Is the Principles of Information Technology Course?

Principles of Information Technology is an introductory business and computer science course in Texas for students in grades 9 and 10.

The course helps learners develop essential skills in computer literacy and new technologies to have successful careers in today’s workplaces.

In addition to technology skills, this course teaches students valuable career skills, including communication, reading and writing, and critical thinking.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at the standards for Principles of Information Technology so that you can best prepare your students for success.

What Are the Principles of Information Technology TEKS?

The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) are core standards every teacher needs to meet in the classroom. They consist of a series of broader criteria—called knowledge statements—and narrower skills statements.

For Principles of Information Technology, teachers need to satisfy TEKS criteria in 13 areas:

  1. Professional Standards and Employability Skills
  2. Employment Opportunities
  3. Evolving and Emerging Technologies
  4. Hardware Components
  5. Software
  6. Network Systems
  7. Word Processing Technology
  8. Spreadsheet Technology
  9. Computer Programming Concepts
  10. Database Technology
  11. Presentation Management Technology
  12. Design and Web Publishing Techniques
  13. Legal and Ethical Procedures

Course Standard 1: Professional Standards and Employability Skills

For the first knowledge statement, students must demonstrate their ability to uphold professional standards and develop employability skills. They need to show these particular qualities:

  1. Identify and demonstrate work behaviors and qualities that enhance employability and job advancement, such as regular attendance, attention to proper attire, maintenance of a clean and safe work environment, pride in work, flexibility, and initiative
  2. Employ effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills
  3. Employ effective reading and writing skills
  4. Solve problems and think critically
  5. Demonstrate leadership skills and function effectively as a team member
  6. Identify and implement proper safety procedures
  7. Demonstrate planning and time-management skills such as storyboarding and project management, including initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing a project

Students who demonstrate these skills will be well qualified to work in any business or industry setting.

Course Standard 2: Employment Opportunities

To understand their professional options, students must explore specific career opportunities in information technology. For this standard, students must:

  1. Identify job opportunities and accompanying job duties and tasks
  2. Research careers of personal interest along with the education, job skills, and experience required to achieve personal career goals
  3. Describe the functions of resumes and portfolios

A basic career search will help students understand the opportunities available in IT and whether these jobs are something they would like to pursue.

Course Standard 3: Evolving and Emerging Technologies

For this knowledge statement, learners must demonstrate that they can effectively exchange information using evolving and emerging technologies. Students must:

  1. Identify and describe functions of various evolving and emerging technologies
  2. Send and receive text information and file attachments using electronic methods such as email, electronic bulletin boards, and instant message services
  3. Demonstrate effective Internet search strategies, including keywords and Boolean logic, using various available search engines
  4. Identify the various components of a Uniform Resource Locator
  5. Demonstrate ability to effectively test acquired information from the Internet for accuracy, relevance, and validity
  6. Explain issues concerning computer-based threats such as computer viruses, malware, and hacking
  7. Explain issues concerning Internet safety such as identity theft, online predators, cyberbullying, and phishing

Understanding the latest technology and related safety issues will help ensure students are ready to work in a rapidly changing world.

Course Standard 4: Hardware Components

Information technology involves working with hardware components. Students should indicate their knowledge of IT hardware by:

  1. Identifying major hardware components and their functions
  2. Using available reference tools as appropriate
  3. Connecting and using a variety of peripheral devices such as a mouse, keyboard, microphone, digital camera, and printer

Knowledge of basic computer hardware ensures learners can work in most computer-based occupations.

Course Standard 5: Software

Students will encounter many software applications when working with computers. To be successful, they’ll need to understand what makes each application unique and how to troubleshoot when problems arise. Specifically, learners will need to:

  1. Differentiate between systems and application software
  2. Identify and explain major operating system fundamentals and components such as disk operations, graphical user interface components, and hardware drivers
  3. Explain the purpose of file types across software products
  4. Demonstrate use of computer numbering systems and internal data representation, such as identifying the hexadecimal value of a color
  5. Compare and contrast open source and proprietary software
  6. Explain the use of system management tools
  7. Apply proper file management techniques such as creating, naming, organizing, copying, moving, and deleting files
  8. Use appropriate file protection and security
  9. Explain the process for discovering, quarantining, and removing viruses from a computer system

Once they can adeptly work with basic applications, learners will be ready for more complicated IT work.

Course Standard 6: Network Systems

This criterion tests students' knowledge of network systems. To satisfy this knowledge statement, students must:

  1. Identify hardware associated with telecommunications and data networking, such as servers, routers, switches, and network connectors
  2. Identify and describe various types of networks such as peer-to-peer, local area networks, wide area networks, wireless, and ethernet
  3. Identify functions of network operating systems
  4. Explain troubleshooting techniques for various network connection issues

Understanding network systems will prepare students to move beyond working on an individual computer to managing a network of computers as an information technologist.

Course Standard 7: Word Processing Technology

Word processing is one of the most fundamental of computer skills. Students are expected to demonstrate their competence with word processing by:

  1. Identifying the terminology associated with word processing software
  2. Editing a variety of text documents using functions such as pagination, appropriate white space, tab settings, and font style, size, and color
  3. Creating professional documents such as memorandums, technical manuals, or proposals using advanced word processing features

Learners who are highly adept with word processing applications like Microsoft Word and Google Docs will have a leg up on their peers when working in business and technology occupations.

Course Standard 8: Spreadsheet Technology

Using spreadsheets is critical to success when working with numbers in a digital environment. To meet these standards, students need to:

  1. Identify the terminology associated with spreadsheet software
  2. Use numerical content to perform mathematical calculations
  3. Use student-created and preprogrammed functions to produce documents such as budget, payroll, statistical tables, and personal checkbook register
  4. Identify, generate, and describe the function comma-separated value files
  5. Create and analyze spreadsheets incorporating advanced features such as lookup tables, nested IF statements, subtotals, cell protection conditional formatting, charts, and graphs
  6. Perform sorting, searching, and data filtering in documents

Students who are proficient in spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets will be well qualified for finance, accounting, and more business occupations.

Course Standard 9: Computer Programming Concepts

Knowledge of computer programming is paramount for work as an information technologist. For this standard, students are expected to evidence these programming skills:

  1. Identify the function of compilers and interpreters
  2. Explain the difference between the operation of compilers and interpreters
  3. Identify various computer languages and how the languages are used in software development
  4. Recognize data representation in software development such as string, numeric, character, integer, and date
  5. Identify and explain the concept of algorithms
  6. Describe the flow of a structured algorithm, including linear and iterative instructions such as using a flow chart

Once students understand the basics of computer programming, they’ll be able to consider more advanced programming in future classes or at the postsecondary level.

Course Standard 10: Database Technology

Working with databases is often within the purview of information technologists. For this TEKS standard, students need to:

  1. Identify the terminology associated with database software and database functions
  2. Explore the application of databases
  3. Identify and explain the purpose and elements of a query language
  4. Identify and explain the purpose of fields and records
  5. Describe the process of constructing a query, including multiple search parameters

Students who can use databases such as Microsoft Access will be better prepared to maintain records and data when working in industry.

Course Standard 11: Presentation Management Technology

Using presentation software is often a part of working in business and information technology careers. To demonstrate their competence with presentation management technology, students must:

  1. Identify the terminology and functions of presentation software
  2. Create, save, edit, and produce presentations incorporating advanced features such as links, hyperlinks, audio, and graphics

Learners who excel at using presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides will be on their way to success with school presentations and business meetings alike.

Course Standard 12: Design and Web Publishing Techniques

Webpage design and publishing are integral parts of working in information technology. To satisfy this TEKS requirement, students will need to:

  1. Identify the terminology associated with web page development and interactive media
  2. Identify and explain design elements such as typeface, color, shape, texture, space, and form
  3. Identify and explain design principles such as unity, harmony, balance, scale, and contrast
  4. Identify and explain common elements of Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), such as tags, stylesheets, and hyperlinks
  5. Create a web page containing links, graphics, and text using appropriate design principles

When students learn basic design, coding, and web publishing principles, they’ll be more prepared to take on web manager roles with future employers.

Course Standard 13: Legal and Ethical Procedures

Finally, students need to understand the legal and ethical aspects of working with information technology.

  1. Explain and demonstrate ethical use of technology and online resources
  2. Adhere to intellectual property laws
  3. Explain the concept of intellectual property laws, including copyright, trademarks, and patents, and the consequences of violating each type of law
  4. Examine the consequences of plagiarism
  5. Identify and explain unethical practices such as hacking, online piracy, and data vandalism
  6. Demonstrate ethical use of online resources, including citation of source.

When students understand how to use data, information, and digital assets legally, they’ll be on their way to being ethical employees in a business or industry setting.

Align Your Curriculum With Your TEKS Requirements

As a foundational CTE course, Principles of Information Technology can be a significant first step for students pursuing business and computer science careers.

If you follow your TEKS guidelines, your students can develop essential skills that will help them later in high school and beyond.

But how exactly can you be sure that your instruction aligns with your standards? One way is to adopt a comprehensive curriculum system that correlates with your TEKS requirements.

The Business, Marketing, Finance, IT, and Media curriculum from iCEV aligns with TEKS requirements for courses including Principles of Information Technology, Business Information Management I and II, Touch System Data Entry, and more.

To learn more about how iCEV satisfies your standards, visit the Texas state page. You'll learn more about how iCEV meets the needs of Texas CTE programs:

Visit the Texas State Resource Page