This website can be used to access detailed explanation for tech terms.
The thick-bordered cell where you can enter numbers or formulas in
The technique of photographing a series of drawings or positions of puppets or models to create an illusion of movement when the movie is shown as a sequence.
A shortened term, or nickname, for an “application”. It is most often used to describe programs for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
Computer software that performs a task or set of tasks, such as word processing or drawing. Applications are also referred to as programs.
A file sent with an email message.
The copying and archiving of computer data so it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event.
The capacity of a networked connection. Bandwidth determines how much data can be sent along the networked wires. Bandwidth is particularly important for Internet connections, since greater bandwidth also means faster downloads.
Short for “binary digit”. The smallest piece of computer information. It contains a single binary value of 0 or 1.
|Bit vs. Byte|
The terms bit and byte are common in computer networking. Both terms refer to digital data transmitted over a network connection. A bit is singular, while a byte is a sequence of bits. The terms "bits" and "bytes" are often confused and are even used interchangeably since they sound similar and are both abbreviated with the letter "B." However, when written correctly, bits are abbreviated with a lowercase "b," while bytes are abbreviated with a capital "B." It is important not to confuse these two terms, since any measurement in bytes contains eight times as many bits. For example, a small text file that is 4 KB in size contains 4,000 bytes, or 32,000 bits.
Short for "Web Log," this term refers to a list of journal entries posted on a Web page.
A bookmark is a saved shortcut that directs your browser to a specific webpage.
Simple words (AND, OR, NOT or AND NOT) used as conjunctions to combine or exclude keywords in a search, resulting in more focused and productive results.
Short for web browser, an application used to access and view websites.
A series of 8 binary bits that digitally represent a single character to the
Typing text into a message box on a screen to engage in dialog with one or more people via the Internet or other network.
Cloud computing refers to applications and services offered over the Internet. These services are offered from data centers all over the world, which collectively are referred to as the "cloud."
While bullying typically happens at school or work, cyberbullying takes place over cyberspace. This includes both Internet and cell phone communication. It may involve harassing, threatening, embarrassing, or humiliating people online.
Cyberbullying can take many forms. The following are just a few examples:
Making fun of another user in an Internet chat room.
NOTE: Technically, cyberbullying takes place between two young people. When adults are involved, it may be called cyber-harassment or cyberstalking.
Computer data is information processed or stored by a computer. This information may be in the form of text documents, images, audio clips, software programs, or other types of data.
A description of an electronic copy or hard copy of reference material for a product. To write and create an electronic document on a computer use a word processor or other text editor.
Every website has a unique name, identifying it. This is called a domain name. For example, the domain name of Springfield Public Schools is "sps186.org". The domain name of each website serves as an address used to access it.
The domain name of a website appears in the address (URL) bar of the web browser. Some domain names begin with "www" (which is not part of the domain name), while others do not use the "www" prefix. All domain names have a domain suffix, such as .com, .net, or .org. The domain suffix helps identify the type of website the domain name represents. For example, domain names ending in ".com" are typically used by commercial website, while ".org" websites are often used by non-profit organizations.
Download can be used as either a verb or a noun. As a verb, it refers to the process of receiving data over the Internet. Downloading is the opposite of uploading, or sending data to another system over the Internet. As a noun, download may refer to either a file that is retrieved from the Internet or the process of downloading a file.
A menu window that opens vertically on-screen to display context-related options. Also called pop-up menu or pull-down menu.
eBook (or e-book) is short for "electronic book." It is a digital publication that can be read on a computer, e-reader, or other electronic device.
ePub is both a nickname and a file extension used for eBook file formats. It can be downloaded and read on mobile devices.
A set of data that is stored in the computer.
A file format defines the structure and type of data stored in a file. The structure of a typical file may include a header, metadata, saved content, and an end-of-file (EOF) marker. The data stored in the file depends on the purpose of the file format. Some files, such as XML files, are used to store lists of items, while others, such as JPEG image files simply contain a block of data.
Technology that prevents users from visiting inappropriate web sites, and protects the network from unauthorized users.
Flash drives have many names - jump drives, thumb drives, pen drives, and USB keychain drives. Regardless of what you call them, they all refer to the same thing, which is a small data storage device that uses flash memory and has a built-in USB connection.
A structure for containing electronic files.
|GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)|
GIF is an image file format commonly used for images on the web. GIFs store image data using indexed color, meaning each image can include a maximum of 256 colors.
Approximately 1,000,000,000 bytes. Gigabytes, sometimes abbreviated "gigs," are often used to measure storage capacity. For example, an iPad may hold 16 GB of data and a hard drive may have a storage capacity of 750 GB. Storage devices that hold 1,000 GB of data or more are typically measured in terabytes.
A graphic is an image or visual representation of an object. Therefore, computer graphics are simply images displayed on a computer screen.
Guided access is a feature specific to iOS devices. It limits use of the Home Button, which can allow students to access other apps or areas of the screen.
An unauthorized person who secretly gains access to computer files.
A stack of rigid disks, usually inside the computer, where data is stored magnetically.
Computer hardware refers to the physical parts of a computer and related devices. Internal hardware devices include motherboards, hard drives, and RAM. External hardware devices include monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, and scanners.
This is the starting point or front page of a website. This page usually has some sort of table of contents on it and often describes the purpose of the site.
Keys on the keyboard with fingers of the left hand are on A-S-D-F
Stands for "Hyper-Text Markup Language." This is the language that webpages are written in. Also known as hypertext documents, webpages must conform to the rules of HTML in order to be displayed correctly in a web browser.
|Hyperlink or Hypertext|
Special text when clicked jumps the user from one related topic to another.
A hyperlink is a word, phrase, or image that you can click on to jump to a new document or a new section within the current document. Hyperlinks are found in nearly all Web pages, allowing users to click their way from page to page. Text hyperlinks are often blue and underlined, but don't have to be. When you move the cursor over a hyperlink, whether it is text or an image, the arrow should change to a small hand pointing at the link.
A visual representation of something.
This is a virtual mailbox in which incoming email is stored.
|Inbox (Dist. Webpage)|
This is a virtual mailbox in which incoming messages and files are stored.
A visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data.
Also known as an "IP number" or simply an "IP," this is a code made up of numbers separated by three dots that identifies a particular computer on the Internet. Every computer, whether it be a web server or the computer you're using right now, requires an IP address to connect to the Internet. IP addresses consist of four sets of numbers from 0 to 255, separated by three dots. For example "184.108.40.206" or "220.127.116.11".
The ownership of ideas, symbols, logos, writings, artwork, and other intangible products.
A global network connecting millions of computers, linking more than 100 countries for the exchange of data, news and opinions.
A private, computer network accessible only to authorized individuals such as employees, students, parents, etc.
|JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)|
A JPEG is a compressed image file format. JPEG images are not limited to a certain amount of color, like GIF images are. Therefore, the JPEG format is best for compressing photographic images.
As the name implies, a keyboard is basically a board of keys. Along with the mouse, the keyboard is one of the primary input devices used with a computer.
When referring to a search function, a keyword is a word or group of words that help the searcher locate a better match for their search.
Approximately 1,000 bytes. Kilobytes are most often used to measure the size of small files. For example, a plain text document may contain 10 KB of data and therefore would have a file size of 10 kilobytes.
When you are browsing the Web and you see a highlighted and underlined word or phrase on a page, there is a good chance you are looking at a link. By clicking on a link, you can "jump" to a new webpage or a completely different website.
Listserv, or list server, is a mailing list program that sends emails automatically to multiple emails that have been subscribed to the list.
If you are ever asked to enter your username and password, you are being asked to enter your login information. A login is a combination of information that authenticates your identity. This could be a name and password or an ID number and security code.
The term "monitor" is often used synonymously with "computer screen" or "display." The monitor displays the computer's user interface and open programs, allowing the user to interact with the computer, typically using the keyboard and mouse.
Approximately 1,000,000 bytes. Megabytes are often used to measure the size of large files. For example, a high resolution JPEG image file might range in size from one to five megabytes.
A place to store information.
A message thread is a collection of messages or comments regarding a question or topic of discussion. Typically, found on discussion boards, social media and other forums, message threads are listed in chronological order by date and time of entry.
As the name implies, multimedia is the integration of multiple forms of media. This includes text, graphics, audio, video, etc. For example, a presentation involving audio and video clips would be considered a "multimedia presentation."
The capability to install, remove, and update software on a device as well as track its whereabouts remotely.
The ability to reflect the content of a computer screen to a large screen via a projector
Move your cursor around the screen to access icons and other features of a webpage or an operating system
Multiple computers linked together.
When a computer or other device is not turned on or connected to other devices, it is said to be "offline." This is the opposite of being "online," when a device can readily communicate with other devices.
In general, when a machine is "online," it is turned on and connected to other devices. For example, when a network printer is online, computers connected to that network can print from it.
Precautions taken to protect personal information and images from being misused by others.
An operating system, or "OS," is software that communicates with the hardware and allows other programs to run. It is comprised of system software, or the fundamental files your computer needs to boot up and function. Every desktop computer, tablet, and smartphone includes an operating system that provides basic functionality for the device.
The term "format" can also be used to describe the page layout or style of text in a word processing document. When you format the layout of a page, you can modify the page size, page margins, and line spacing. When you format the text, you can choose the font and font size, as well as text styles, such as bold, underlined, and italics.
A password is a string of characters used for authenticating a user on a computer system. While usernames are generally public information, passwords are private to each user.
An action that allows you to copy an object or text from one location and place it to another location.
Extra attachments and capabilities. Examples - modem, microphone, camera.
Short for Portable Document Format, PDF is a file format that is useful because it allows the document to be viewed and printed the same way on any device.
Phishing is similar to fishing in a lake, but instead of trying to capture fish, phishers attempt to steal your personal information. They send out e-mails that appear to come from legitimate websites such as eBay, PayPal, or other banking institutions. The e-mails state that your information needs to be updated or validated and ask that you enter your username and password, after clicking a link included in the e-mail. Some e-mails will ask that you enter even more information, such as your full name, address, phone number, social security number, and credit card number. However, even if you visit the false website and just enter your username and password, the phisher may be able to gain access to more information by just logging in to your account.
If you receive an e-mail that asks that you update your information and you think it might be valid, go to the website by typing the URL in your browser's address field instead of clicking the link in the e-mail. For example, go to "https://www.paypal.com" instead of clicking the link in an e-mail that appears to come from PayPal. If you are prompted to update your information after you have manually typed in the Web address and logged in, then the e-mail was probably legitimate. However, if you are not asked to update any information, then the e-mail was most likely a spoof sent by a phisher.
Stands for "picture element" and it refers to the small dots which make up the images on a computer display.
The name "podcast" combines the terms iPod and broadcast into a single catchy word. As the name suggests, podcasts are audio and video broadcasts that can be played on an iPod. Amateur podcasts can be created by anyone who has a microphone or digital video camera and a computer with recording software.
Controls available to the user on social media platforms as well as other websites, allowing the user to limit access to personal information seen by others
Program is a common computer term that can be used as both a noun and a verb.
A program (noun) is software that runs on a computer. A program consists of compiled code that can run directly from the computer's operating system.
Program (verb) means to create a software program. For example, programmers create programs by writing code that instructs the computer what to do.
Content and resources such as software, artwork, music, literature, etc. made available to the public free of charge. Copyright laws do not apply due to expired restrictions, or purposeful sharing of the work by the creator.
A folder created with intent to share information with others. Privileges can be established so as to share with certain individuals, especially on specific networks.
A QR code (short for "quick response" code) is a type of barcode that contains a matrix of dots. It can be scanned using a QR scanner or a smartphone with built-in camera. Once scanned, software on the device converts the dots within the code into numbers or a string of characters. For example, scanning a QR code with your phone might open a URL in your phone's web browser.
This is a multimedia technology developed by our friends at Apple Computer. It is a popular format for creating and storing sound, graphics, and movie (.mov) files.
Stands for "Random Access Memory," and is pronounced like the male sheep. RAM is made up of small memory chips that form a memory module. Every time you open a program, it gets loaded from the hard drive into the RAM. This is because reading data from the RAM is much faster than reading data from the hard drive. To view how much RAM is installed in a Macintosh computer, select "About This Mac" from the Apple Menu.
A read-only file or storage device contains data that cannot be modified or deleted. While data can be accessed or "read" from a read-only file or device, new data cannot be added or "written" to the device.
When an event or function is processed instantaneously, it is said to occur in real-time. To say something takes place in real-time is the same as saying it is happening "live".
This term can describe how many pixels a monitor can display. A small monitor may have a resolution or 640 x 480, which means there are 640 pixels horizontally across the screen and 480 pixels vertically. Some other common monitor resolutions are 800 x 600, 1,024 x 768, and 1,280 x 1,024. The higher the resolution, the more that can be displayed on the screen.
The word "restore" means to return something to its former condition. Therefore, when you restore a computer or other electronic device, you return it to a previous state. This may be a previous system backup or the original factory settings.
Stands for "Read-Only Memory." Please do not confuse this term with RAM or a hard drive, as many people already do. ROM is memory containing hardwired instructions that the computer uses when it boots up, before the system software loads.
RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication. A RSS feed allows you to subscribe to a website, blog, or website. When changes or updates are made to the site, you get the updated edition or article without having to check the webpage.
A scanner is an input device that scans documents such as photographs and pages of text. When a document is scanned, it is converted into a digital format. This creates an electronic version of the document that can be viewed and edited on a computer.
A screencast is a digital video recording of commands or actions taking place on a computer's desktop. Typically accompanied with audio narration, screencasts are commonly used for tutorials and demonstrations.
A screenshot, or screen capture, is a picture taken of your computer's desktop or iPad screen. Screenshots are and easy way to save something you see on the screen, such as an open window, image, or text article. However, because screenshots are saved in an image format, the text saved in a screenshot will not be editable.
Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask.com are all search engines. They index millions of sites on the Web, so that Web surfers like you and me can easily find Web sites with the information we want. When you are looking for something using a search engine, it is a good idea to use words like AND, OR, and NOT to specify your search. Using these boolean operators, you can usually get a list of more relevant sites.
A server is a computer that provides data to other computers. It may serve data to systems on a local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN) over the Internet. Many types of servers exist, including web servers, mail servers, and file servers. Each type runs software specific to the purpose of the server.
Refers to a computerized imitation of a real object or real action.
A restart of a device, such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop or personal computer (PC). The action closes applications and clears any data in RAM (random access memory). Unsaved data in current use may be lost but data stored on the hard drive, applications and settings are not affected.
A soft reset on an iPad/iPhone consists of holding down the power button and the home button until the device turns off.
Computer software is a general term that describes computer programs. Related terms such as software programs, applications, scripts, and instruction sets all fall under the category of computer software. Therefore, installing new programs or applications on your computer is synonymous with installing new software on your computer.
Refers to junk e-mail or irrelevant postings to a newsgroup or bulletin board. The unsolicited e-mail messages you receive about refinancing your home, reversing aging, and losing those extra pounds are all considered to be spam.
A graphic organizer used for planning and developing a multimedia report/presentation. The contents, layout, and formatting of each card/slide and the linking together of the cards/slides.
"Sync" is short for synchronize. When a device such as a cell phone or iPad is “synced”, it connects with another device or program to transfer data. with data on your computer. This connection can take place by physically connecting the device to your computer via a USB or wireless Bluetooth connection, or virtually via cloud capabilities.
A tablet, or tablet PC, is a portable computer that uses a touchscreen as its primary input device. Most tablets are slightly smaller and weigh less than the average laptop. While some tablets include fold out keyboards, others, such as the Apple iPad and Motorola Xoom, only offer touchscreen input.
A template is a pre-formatted file which serves as a "starting point" for a new document. Using a template can save time from creating a new document from scratch.
A terabyte (TB) is 1,000,000,000,000 (1 trillion) bytes, and is equal to 1,000 gigabytes. Terabytes are most often used to measure the storage capacity of large storage devices.
A thumbnail image is a small, digital image that represents a larger one. They are often used to provide snapshots of several images in a single space.
Usually found under the menu bar, a toolbar is a set of icons or buttons used with specific programs or software. Typically, a toolbar may have buttons for font, font size and color, alignment, justification, etc.
A trackpad is operated by using your finger and dragging it across the flat surface of the touchpad. As you move your finger on the surface, the mouse cursor moves in that same direction.
Unsecure - Vulnerable to having data stolen or intercepted.
Stands for "Uniform Resource Locator." A URL is the address of a specific Web site or file on the Internet. It cannot have spaces or certain other characters and uses forward slashes to denote different directories. Some examples of URLs are http://www.cnet.com/, http://web.mit.edu/, and ftp://info.apple.com/. As you can see, not all URLs begin with "http". The first part of a URL indicates what kind of resource it is addressing. Here is a list of the different resource prefixes:
http - a hypertext directory or document (such as a Web page)
Stands for "Universal Serial Bus." USB is the most common type of computer port used in today's computers. It can be used to connect keyboards, mice, game controllers, printers, scanners, digital cameras, and removable media drives, just to name a few.
An update is a software file that contains fixes for problems found by other users or the software developer. Installing an update fixes the code and prevents the problems from happening on your computer.
A username is a name that uniquely identifies someone on a computer system. For example, a computer may be setup with multiple accounts, with different usernames for each account. Many websites allow users to choose a username so that they can customize their settings or set up an online account.
A username is almost always paired with a password. This username/password combination is referred to as a login, and is often required for users to log in to websites.
|Username (Dist. 186)|
First part of an e-mail address.
A digitally created environment or space which shares attributes of a physical space, but is not real.
Like a biological virus, a computer virus is something you don't want to get. Computer viruses are small programs or scripts that can negatively affect the health of your computer. These malicious little programs can create files, move files, erase files, consume your computer's memory, and cause your computer not to function correctly. Some viruses can duplicate themselves, attach themselves to programs, and travel across networks. In fact opening an infected e-mail attachment is the most common way to get a virus.
Stands for "World Wide Web." It is important to know that this is not a synonym for the Internet. The World Wide Web, or just "the Web," as ordinary people call it, is a subset of the Internet. The Web consists of pages that can be accessed using a Web browser. The Internet is the actual network of networks where all the information resides.
A seminar conducted over the internet.
A website, or Web site, is not the same thing as a Web page. Though the two terms are often used interchangeably, they should not be. A Web site is a collection of Web pages.
Web pages are what make up the World Wide Web. These documents are written in HTML (hypertext markup language) and are translated by your Web browser.
A widget is a small program run by the Mac OS X Dashboard or the Yahoo! Widget Engine. Dashboard is only available on Macintosh computers, while the Yahoo! Widget Engine is available for both Windows and Macintosh platforms. Dashboard and Yahoo! widgets are not compatible with each other, so similar widgets must be created separately for each widget engine.
Some common widgets include weather guides, stock lists, flight trackers, calendars, and search boxes for various websites. Widgets are convenient tools since they are always only one click or keystroke away.
Stands for "Wireless Fidelity" and it refers to wireless networking technology