TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION STANDARDS GLOSSARY
Acceptable Use Agreement/Policy (AUA or AUP)
A form that is signed by an individual, and when appropriate, legal guardian/parent, that
acknowledges responsible behavior and use for the technology provided by the district,
including the legal implications of the use of the Internet.
Devices that help people with visual impairments, hearing losses, severe speech
impairments, physical disabilities and/or severe learning disabilities cope with demands
that are placed upon them from their environment. (See also Assistive Technology)
Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the
shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve the
functional capabilities of children with disabilities. (Federal Register, August 19, 1991, p.
41272.) (See also Adaptive Devices)
A self-contained word processing device with full-size keyboard and memory that allows
editing, printing or direct transfer to a computer for storage and manipulation (brand
names, e.g., AlphaSmart, Dream Writer).
A contraction of binary digit. It is the smallest unit of storage in a computer. The bit is
represented by a zero (0) or one (1) for information; instructions and data may be
represented by sets of bits. Compare byte.
A marker that allows a user to identify a site on the Internet to allow rapid access. Also,
a marker that allows a user to mark a place in a word processing document.
Boolean (also Boolean Operator)
A system of logic that, when applied to searches, modifies search terms with the
“operators” AND, OR and NOT. Boolean operators allow you to broaden or narrow the
range of your search.
An application that allows people to scan and interact with a network. Netscape and
Internet Explorer are examples of browsers.
A set of bits, typically eight, that comprises the smallest accessible unit in computer
memory. It is the equivalent of one letter or one digit from 0 to 9.
CD (Compact Disc - Player/Reader)
A device attached to a computer that provides access to information such as
encyclopedias, dictionaries, databases or music. These are devices that allow users to
store or write to a CD.
CD-ROM (Compact Disc – Read Only Memory)
A CD-ROM format used to store large amounts of information. A flat round disc that is
used to store digital data. The disc is read by a laser. You can only read information on a
CD. You cannot record information on a CD.
To press and release a mouse or trackball button once while the cursor is stationary.
Graphics that can be cut and pasted electronically into documents. Clip art can be
photographs, diagrams, maps, illustration or cartoons.
A special file or memory area (buffer) where data is stored temporarily before being
copied to another location. In Microsoft Windows and the Apple Macintosh operating
systems, the Clipboard can be used to copy data from one application to another. The
Macintosh uses two types of clipboards. The one it calls the Clipboard can hold only one
item at a time and is flushed when you turn the computer off. The other, called the
Scrapbook, can hold several items at once and retains its contents from one working
session to another.
Intellectual Property Rights (copyright) are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and
Federal law. These protect the individual who produces creative works from the theft of
their work by others. Within the U.S. (not necessarily a part of any international
copyright agreements), Fair Use Guidelines provide limited privileges to educators.
Legal citation: http://lcweb.loc.gov/. There are a number of additional sites that have
helpful information on this topic, including:
CPU (Central Processing Unit)
The CPU is the brains of the computer. Sometimes referred to simply as the processor or
central processor, the CPU is where most calculations take place. In terms of computing
power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system.
Used in computer graphics, cropping is a method used to cut off the sides of an image to
make it the proper size or to remove unwanted parts. Most graphics applications allow
you to crop images with a clip feature.
1) removes highlighted item and places a copy of it on the clipboard.
2) A process of replacing a video picture with another instantaneously, or making an
abrupt change of image or sound.
A collection of data arranged into categories. These can then be manipulated by the user
to create reports.
Removing a character, word, line, paragraph or other specified amount of text from a
A hardware product that captures an image and sends it to a computer.
An image that is stored in bits and bytes on a computer. It can be manipulated and
displayed on a computer screen.
A term used when referring to a compact disc or laser disc on which information is stored
Media that stores computer information. There are two basic types: hard disks (or drives)
and floppy disks.
A file created by a program.
To hold down a mouse button while moving the mouse. It is a way to move objects,
resize borders and objects or select text in blocks.
Any device that reads and writes information, such as a hard drive, floppy drive, CD
ROM drive or tape drive.
Software used to create any type of drawing, from a simple line sketch to a magnificent
full-color poster. Drawing programs are used by graphic artists and designers.
E-mail (Electronic Mail)
The electronic transmission of letters, documents, messages and memos from one
computer to another over a network.
Electronic Card Catalog
A computer-based version of the traditional library card catalog. A patron uses a
computer to type in or select pre-determined search strategies to access items in a
Encryption software puts data into a secret code so it is unreadable, except by authorized
users. The most common form is public encryption, which is a way of encrypting
messages in which each user has a public key and a private key. Messages are sent
encrypted with the receiver’s public key; the receiver decrypts them using the private
key. Using this method, the private key never has to be revealed to anyone other than the
Enter Key/Return Key
A key located at the right end of the third row from the bottom on a keyboard. Pressing
the Enter key performs a typed or highlighted command. In word processing, the Enter
key starts a new paragraph.
On the Macintosh, the term for formatting or initializing a disk.
Science of body positioning to reduce physical, mental and emotional stress on the
The most commonly used technology for networking computers.
Fair Use Guidelines
Support for educators and educational institutions within compliance of U.S. Intellectual
Property Rights laws (copyright), Fair Use is an agreement between industry (copyright
holders), education and the government allowing limited use without purchase of
A device or program that separates data or signals in accordance to specific criteria.
Currently, educational institutions are required to have some form of filter between
students and the Internet. Compare to firewall.
A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network.
Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both,
and are frequently used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private
networks connected to the Internet, especially intranets. All messages entering or leaving
the intranet pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those
that do not meet the specified security criteria. There are several types of firewall
techniques: packet filters, application gateways, circuit-level gateways and proxy
Industry standard. A “bus” (device) that can move large amounts of data between
computers and peripheral devices. Manufacturers of multimedia devices use this
technology because it speeds up the movement of multimedia data and large files, and
enables the connection of digital devices (e.g., digital camcorders, digital video tapes and
music systems) directly to a personal computer.
Floppy Disk Drive
A device used to write and read data to a floppy disk and transfer the information to the
A 3.5 inch removable disk that’s flexible (although it’s protected by a hard plastic case).
Also called a diskette. Compare disk.
A flow chart is a graphical representation of a computer program or order of operations.
The process of flow charting includes defining the project, determining the steps in the
project, creating a graphical representation, and testing assumptions about the project (or
In graphical user interfaces such as Windows and the Macintosh environment, a folder is
an object that can contain multiple documents. Folders are used to organize information.
A single style of typeface and size (e.g., Times New Roman, 12pt).
1) (noun) The layout, presentation or arrangement of data on a screen or paper.
2) (verb) The process whereby a disk is made ready for storing data by organizing the
surface into tracks and sectors. Synonymous with initialization. Compare Erase
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
A method of transferring files between computers connected to the Internet.
GPS (Global Positioning System)
A system of satellites that transmit continually, which make it possible to identify each
location through a receiving unit, by triangulation.
A calculator that allows the user to program in a formula to present data visually in graph
or chart form.
Software that visually organizes the thought or creative process. Also known as
storyboard software, these combine both icons (graphics) and text to give structure and
logic to a project or presentation.
GUI (Graphical User Interface)
A program interface that takes advantage of the computer’s graphics capabilities to make
the program easier to use.
Attempts to gain unauthorized entry into a computer system or network.
The primary storage device for your computer. Also called hard disk. It is where
applications, utilities and files are stored.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
A programming language for creating pages on the World Wide Web.
Hyperlink, Hypermedia, Hyperstack
Hyper – multi-dimensional. Media – text, graphics, sound, animation and video.
Hypermedia was originally coined to describe how different forms of information can be
linked in a non-linear fashion. Users move from one group of information to another by
clicking on text or graphics on a computer screen. These “hyperlinks” allow users to
individualize the way they move through and process the information being presented to
The process whereby a disk is made ready for storing data by organizing the surface into
tracks and sectors. Synonymous with formatting. Compare Erase Disk.
A machine through which data and instructions are entered into the computer’s main
memory. A mouse, a graphics tablet, and detachable keyboards are examples of input
Programs, used extensively on the Web, that perform tasks such as retrieving and
delivering information and automating repetitive tasks. Agents are designed to make
computing easier. Currently they are used as Web browsers, news retrieval mechanisms
and shopping assistants. By specifying certain parameters, agents will “search” the
Internet and return the results directly back to the user’s PC. Some intelligent agents are
also used as tools to track Web behavior; they can even “watch” as the user surfs the ‘Net
and record how often he/she visits a certain site. Later, they can be used to automatically
download the user’s favorite sites, letting the user know when a favorite site has been
updated, and even tailoring specific pages to suit the user’s tastes.
Refers to an application or system that provides information in response to the user’s
A global communications network that is a collaborative effort among educational
institutions, government agencies, various commercial and nonprofit organizations, and
individual users. The Internet allows three primary functions: communications (e-mail
and news), retrieval of information and transferring files (FTP).
The term used for the implementation of Internet technologies (communications
protocol/mail/file transfer/Web browsing/user interfaces/terminal emulation) within an
organization, to enhance the organization’s operation, efficiency, and development by
providing all organizational resources to each employee's desktop with minimal cost and
time. Intranets connect the different types of computers on a network, thus providing for
open standards which allows flexibility.
The main input device for computers. Keyboards are derived from the typewriter but
have additional keys that enhance their function.
A keyword is a predefined word or set of words that identifies a specific record or
document. A keyword search uses these keywords to locate information in a database or
on the Internet.
LAN (Local Area Network)
Programs, storage and graphic devices at multiple computer workstations over relatively
small geographic areas for rapid communication. Compare WAN.
A list of commands or options from which choices are made. Most applications now
have a menu-driven component.
In word processing, when information from a table or database is inserted into a
document. In a spreadsheet, the combining of more than one cell to create a single cell.
A screen used to display the data received from a processor, or data transmitted to the
processor. A computer monitor does not have facilities to receive broadcast signals or
process sound. A video monitor can receive broadcast signals and process sound.
A pointing device for moving the cursor on the screen.
The rules of etiquette on the Internet.
A collection of computers that are linked together for the purpose of sharing information.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition)
OCR involves reading text from paper and translating the images into a form that the
computer can manipulate (for example, into ASCII codes). An OCR system enables the
scanning of a book or a magazine article, feeding it directly into an electronic computer
file, and then editing the file using a word processor.
A common term used to refer to being connected to the Internet.
A peripheral through which information from the computer is communicated to the
outside world; for example, a display screen, printer or speakers.
A code word of letters and/or numbers that allows a user to gain access to a secured
system or piece of information. Compare to PIN.
A command that inserts text or graphics from the clipboard to the document at the
location of the cursor. Requires that an item first be placed on the clipboard using Copy
or Cut commands.
A device that can communicate directly with a computer, such as printers, scanners,
cameras, CD-ROMs and laserdisc players.
PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)
A pocket-sized personal computer. PDAs usually can store phone numbers,
appointments, and to-do lists. Some PDAs have a small keyboard, others have only a
special pen that is used for input and output. A PDA can also have a wireless fax
modem. Files can be created on a PDA which are later entered into a larger computer.
PIN (Personal Identification Number)
A privileged code that allows a user to gain access to a secured system or piece of
information. May be assigned by the system operator or selected by the user. Compare
Point and Click
A method of interacting with a computer using the mouse. The user moves a cursor on
the screen based on the corresponding movement of the mouse. When the mouse is over
the desired graphic or text on the computer screen, the mouse button is pressed or
“clicked” to start a desired action.
An interface on a computer used to connect a device. Personal computers have various
types of ports. Internally, there are several ports for connecting disk drives, display
screens and keyboards. Externally, personal computers have ports for connecting
modems, printers, mice and other peripheral devices.
The selecting of one thing over another. In computer terms, it is a section of the
operating system or software application that can be set as a “default.”
One of several devices that can be connected to a computer to display information to an
audience. The most common devices are video projection units and video converters for
Probe: A variety of devices that can be connected to a computer or graphing calculator to
Probeware: The software that allows the probe or probes to interface with the computer
RAM (Random Access Memory)
Memory used to run the operating system and applications in a computer. The more
RAM a computer has, the more applications it can run simultaneously. The operating
system and other software are stored on the computer’s hard disk, but they run in RAM.
Data stored in RAM is lost when the computer is turned off.
A wireless device used to control a piece of electronic equipment such as a television,
tape or CD player, stereo or video camera.
ROM (Read Only Memory)
System memory not available to user, but used by the operating system. This memory is
programmed only once by the manufacturer and cannot be changed.
A device for converting text or graphics displayed on a sheet of paper into a digital image
you can display on your computer screen and use with certain applications.
Scientific Probe/Science Probe
A program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the
documents where the keywords were found. Although search engine is really a general
class of programs, the term is often used to specifically describe systems like Alta Vista
and Excite that enable users to search for documents on the World Wide Web and
USENET newsgroups. Typically, a search engine works by sending out a spider to fetch
as many documents as possible. Another program, called an indexer, reads these
documents and creates an index based on the words contained in each document. Each
search engine uses a proprietary algorithm to create its indices such that, ideally, only
meaningful results are returned for each query.
One-by-one. Serial data transfer refers to transmitting data one bit at a time. The
opposite of serial is parallel, in which several bits are transmitted concurrently.
A computer that provides shared, centralized resources (such as files, e-mail, databases,
modems and printers) to other computers on the network.
An electronic imitation. SimCity is a game in which a simulation of a real city is created
on a computer.
The instructions that tell a computer what to do.
To place, separate or arrange according to common characteristics.
Unsolicited, unwanted junk e-mail with wide distribution.
A feature built into many applications that allows the user to check for spelling errors or
look for synonyms.
Spreadsheets applications (sometimes referred to simply as spreadsheets) are computer
programs that let you create and manipulate spreadsheets electronically. In a spreadsheet
application, each value sits in a cell. Data can be defined in each cell and how different
cells depend on one another. The relationships between cells are called formulas, and the
names of the cells are called labels.
Streaming (Web Streaming)
Playing audio or video immediately as it is downloaded from the Internet, rather than
storing it in a file on the receiving computer first. Streaming is accomplished by way of
Web browser plug-ins, which decompress and play the file in real time; a fast computer
and fast connection are necessary.
TCP-IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
The suite of communications “rules” used to connect hosts on the Internet.
The letters or words of a written work.
Text Support Software
Materials available from a textbook publisher that support, supplement or replace print
content for students. These may be on-line, in disk or CD-ROM format.
A feature supported by many word processors that enables you to surround a picture or
diagram with text. The text wraps around the graphic. Text wrap is also called text flow.
A command within many applications that reverses the most recent thing you did in the
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
The global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. The first
part of the address indicates what protocol to use, and the second part specifies the IP
address or the domain name where the resource is located.
USB (Universal Serial Bus)
A personal computer bus which can support up to 127 peripheral devices in a daisy chain
configuration, and has a total bandwidth of l.5 megabytes per second. It uses inexpensive
cable, which can be up to 5 meters long.
An analog video tape player and recorder which is usually connected to a television
monitor to record or play tapes. One-half inch (1/2”) video tape is the most commonly
A visual recording of information.
Conducting a conference between two or more participants at different sites by using
computer networks to transmit audio and video data. For example, a point-to-point (two
person) videoconferencing system works much like a video telephone. Each participant
has a video camera, microphone and speakers mounted on his/her computer. As the two
participants speak to one another, their voices are carried over the network and delivered
to the other’s speakers and whatever images appear in front of the video camera appear in
a window on the other participant’s monitor. Multipoint videoconferencing allows three
or more participants to sit in a virtual conference room and communicate as if they were
sitting right next to each other.
A variety of software packages that allows students to create a model of a real world
system. These models are often three-dimensional in nature.
A program that infects and replicates itself in computer files, spreading from computer to
computer. Some viruses can be relatively harmless, simply displaying a message on the
screen. Other viruses can be extremely damaging, crashing the hard drive so all data is
WAN (Wide Area Network)
A network that spans geographically separated areas, usually by using models and
dedicated, high-speed telephone lines. Compare LAN.
One page of a document on the World Wide Web. A Web page is usually a file written
in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), stored on a server. A Web page usually has
links to other Web pages. Each Web page has its own address called a Uniform Resource
Locator (URL) in the form: http://www.name.com/directory/page.htm.
A site (location) on the World Wide Web. Each Web site contains a home page, which is
the first document users see when they enter the site. The site might also contain
additional documents and files. Each site is owned and managed by an individual,
company or organization.
A Microsoft term for pre-designed elements of a software package. Will “ask questions”
and assist in the design of a document. For example, a “letter wizard,” within a word
processing application, would lead the user through the steps of producing different
types of correspondence. (May also refer to an outstanding programmer or a system
administrator.) Compare to Assistant in Macintosh.
Software that allows you to enter, edit and format text. Some software will allow the use
Web or WWW (World Wide Web)
A global hypertext network that is part of the Internet. It is normally viewed through a
browser that provides a Graphical User Interface.
Note: Many of these definitions were found at http://webopedia.internet.com