Principles of IT

The Principles of Information Technology course provides an overview of information technology (IT) today. For students in AOIT, it serves as the foundation for all of the core courses offered by the Academy of Information Technology. The course provides students with an introduction to hardware, looking at both peripherals and inside the box. Then, with hands-on activities, students explore the most common types of operating systems, software applications, and programming languages. Students learn about the different types of networks and network topology, and they set up an email client/server connection. During the course, students consider contemporary IT issues such as security and privacy, the effects of IT on society and the individual, and technological inequality. Finally, students get a chance to discover the types of careers that exist in IT today.

For their culminating project, students work in groups of three or four to design their own dream personal technology system. Each group decides what kind of system they would love to have—one designed to meet a specific set of needs. As they work through each lesson, the students analyze the hardware and software they need to put their system together. Given a $5,000 budget, students collect and evaluate data before choosing components for their system. Finally, students create a PowerPoint presentation describing their dream technology system and present it to an audience of professionals at the end of the project.

This course is estimated to take 67 50-minute class periods.

Course Scope & Sequence

The Scope & Sequence lists the learning objectives for each lesson, providing you with an overview of what your students will learn during the course. You can use these learning objectives as a guide to determine how the course enables your students to reach the requisite goals set for them.

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Lesson Descriptions

The Lesson Descriptions document includes a brief overview of every lesson in the course. This is the narrative companion to the course Scope & Sequence document.

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Course Support

If you have questions about this course, need a hand with a particular lesson, or just have a great idea to share, please contact Kevin English directly at We are available to support you in teaching the course while also gathering feedback to improve the NAF curriculum.

Culminating Project Overview

In every NAF course, students complete a culminating project and present it in the final lesson. Download the Project Overview to learn the details about the culminating project for this course and to find out what advance preparation the project entails.

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NAFTrack Certification Course Guide

NAFTrack Certification is a nationally recognized, standards-based set of tools developed by NAF to evaluate students' readiness for college and career. By completing all NAFTrack Certification requirements, students demonstrate mastery of academic skills and career-related knowledge. The requirements are as follows: for each of four NAF courses, students complete all coursework, pass the end-of-course exam, and fulfill culminating project responsibilities, as evidenced by uploading key pieces of work.

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Correlations to the Common Core State Standards

This document identifies which of the ELA and Math Common Core State Standards are met by each lesson in the course. You can use these correlations as an aid to preparing your students for college and careers.

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We welcome questions and feedback about these course materials. For a prompt response, please email Kevin English directly at

The ZIP file below contains the current version of every file for this course. Be sure to download it before the start of each school year. If you just need a specific file or two, it's quicker to use the individual links listed on this page.

All Course Files (ZIP file)

Unit 1: Getting Started and Computer History

Lesson 1: Course Introduction

Example Presentation (MOV file)

This lesson uses a .mov file that requires an up-to-date video player such as Windows Media Player or Apple's QuickTime Player to view. If you have difficulty playing this file, please consult the tech coordinator for your school.

Lesson 2: The Evolving Role of Information Technology and Computers

Lesson 3: Online Research Strategies

Lesson 4: Staying Safe Online

Unit 3: Software Applications

Lesson 7: Basic Productivity Applications

Lesson 8: Graphics, Multimedia, and Games

Unit 5: Software Programming and Development

Lesson 12: Operating Systems

Lesson 13: Introduction to Programming

Unit 6: Careers and Information Technology

Lesson 14: Working in Information Technology

Lesson 15: Project Presentation and Course Closure

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