Glossary of Terms

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This Glossary of Terms is intended to be used for educators to use as a reference to the myriad of terminology related to technology. Within the descriptions, where applicable, links have been included to pages within this wiki. Click the links for more information describing the specific technology linked.

Directory A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


An aggregator or RSS reader or feed reader is a web-based or local (installed on a computer) application that collects content from various websites that provided feeds. Content can be in a variety of formats, but are typically in text (blogs and news sites), audio (podcasts) or video (video podcasts). Examples include Bloglines (web-based) for text/audio feeds and iTunes (installed on local computer) for audio/video feeds.
See Application
A program or piece of software designed to perform a specific task. Common examples include word processing applications (Microsoft Word), spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel), or mind mapping applications (Inspiration or Kidspiration). Its abbreviation 'app' is often used when referring to applications that run on mobile operating systems (i.e. - iOS and Android) and web browsers (i.e. - Google Chrome browser).
A small script or program that runs, typically, in a webpage.


The process of periodically storing computer data (files) off-line as redundant copies in the event of data loss from a computer or network breakdown.
The term blog or blogging is derived from the word weblog which is an online space where an author or authors can post content in an easy to update web page. Blogs generally are created by individuals to share information, thoughts, opinions as well as photos, audio and video content. Weblogs are considered a Web 2.0 tool.
Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) are regional organizations in New York State that support school districts instructionally and administratively.
A browser is software that allows users to access and display sites and pages on the Internet. Browsers are also known as Internet or web browsers. There are a wide variety of web browers, however, by default Microsoft Windows XP comes bundled with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Other popular browsers are Mozilla Firefox and Flock.


Refers to the action of simultaneously pressing the Control (Ctrl), Alternate (Alt), and Delete (Del) key on the keyboard to Logout, Restart or Shutdown a Windows-based computer.
Common Core
The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy. (Common Core State Standards. Retrieved May 29, 2012, from


A program used to store, track, edit and report on organized sets of data such as student information.


Educational Technology (EdTech)
Educational technology is also known as instructional technology and is an area of education dedicated to the process of infusing technology into education including school communities, classrooms, instruction, and student learning experiences.


File Format
Any document, spreadsheet, database, picture, video, audio, etc. that is used on a computer is stored as a type of file. Each type of file is stored in different format. That said, similar types of files can also be stored as different file formats. You can identify the file format by looking at the name and extension of the file (i.e. - picture.jpg). In this example, the picture file is stored in the JPEG format. However, there are many different picture formats that computers and software use (i.e. - .gif, .tiff, .bmp)
Flash Drive
A portable media device that can store files to be used on different computers. Flash referes to the type of memory on these small devices. They use Flash memory rather than moving disc drives to store information. Flash drives are also known as Jump Drives or Thumb Drives and are available in a variety of memory capacities (i.e. - 64 MB - 2 GB of memory).


Enough said.


A small hand or palm sized computer that has many functions in addition to personal information management. Handhelds are often referred to as Personal Digital Assitants (PDAs) or Palm or PocketPC computers.
HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. A staple of web designers HTML basically tells your web browser how to display the information on a web page. HTML uses <tags> to tell browsers how to display fonts, colors, text alignment, tables and much, much more. Learn more about basic HTML tags.


Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
ICT is a term that is synonymous with Instructional Technology or Educational Technology. ICT is an area of education dedicated to the process of infusing technology into education including school communities, classrooms, instruction, and student learning experiences. This term is commonly used outside of the United States.
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is the trusted source for professional development, knowledge generation, advocacy, and leadership for innovation. A nonprofit membership organization, ISTE provides leadership and service to improve teaching, learning, and school leadership by advancing the effective use of technology in PK–12 and teacher education. Home of the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS), the Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CARET), and the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), ISTE represents more than 85,000 professionals worldwide. We support our members with information, networking opportunities, and guidance as they face the challenge of transforming education. ISTE® is the registered trademark of International Society for Technology in Education.
Instructional Technology
Is the area of education dedicated to the process of infusing technology into education including school communities, classrooms, instruction, and student learning experiences. Instructional technology is also to referred to as educational technology (Ed Tech) or information and communication technology (ICT).
Instructional Technology Specialist (ITS)
An instructional technology specialist has the role of aiding teachers to infuse technology into their curriculum area. An ITS may be responsible for developing and conducting professional development classes designed to instruct teachers on how and why to infuse technology.
Interactive Whiteboard
A whiteboard that acts as a display, as well as an input device. Interactive whiteboards can be thought of as a touchscreen for projected computer images (the monitor, mouse and keyboard, all-in-one). Sometimes referred to as a SMART Board, which is made by one manufacturer (Smart Technologies) there are many other
Synonymous with the World Wide Web (www) the Internet is a global network of computers and information. Users can access, download, and upload information to the Internet using web design and file transfer tools.


Jump Drive
See Flash Drive


Key Frames
Key frames are used in video and animation, they represent a specific frame that is used to represent the background.



A computer produced by Apple Computers. Apple computers run the Macintosh operating system. Some newer Macs, introduced in 2006, can run both Mac OS X as well as Microsoft Windows.
Mobile Device
A small computing device that allows users to access files and information anytime, anywhere. Depending upon the device and services subscribed to users can access the Internet.


A website where you "Can Create Your Own Social Network for Anything". Popular Ning sites for educators are Classroom 2.0 and EduBloggerWorld. Search for more educational social networks here.
The New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education (NYSCATE) is a non-profit, professional organization representing more than 2,000 technology using educators and administrators in New York State. NYSCATE is an affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and cooperates with such partners as the New York State Education Department, state and national educational organizations, private sector corporations, and publishers to further the use of technology in our schools.


Open Source
This term is often used when referring to programming source code is open and free for others to use and improve upon. This is contrary to the most widely known software that is closed source for proprietary reasons. Read more at the Wikipedia Open source article.


Also known as audio casting or "blogging out loud", the term podcasting is a blend of the word iPod and broadcasting. A podcast is typically an audio or video file that is subscribed through an aggregator. A common myth is that one needs an iPod in order to access, listen to and create podcasts. Podcasts can be accessed, played and created through most computers with little or no additional cost.



RSS is an acronym for Real Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary and means that at website contains information that can be subscribed to via an RSS aggregator. RSS is based on XML (extensible markup language) and allows aggregators to collect new information from sites with which users have subscriptions. RSS is easily recognizable on many webpages with blue or orange buttons similar to this 25px.


Social Bookmark
Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata, typically in the form of tags. In a social bookmarking system, users save links to web pages that they want to remember and/or share. These bookmarks are usually public, and can be saved privately, shared only with specified people or groups, shared only inside certain networks, or another combination of public and private domains. The allowed people can usually view these bookmarks chronologically, by category or tags, or via a search engine.
Social Network
A social network is an online network of like minded individuals, friends, family or colleagues. Social networks may be small in size, such as a classroom network, or so large that it includes members from around the globe. Social networks are used to connect members by posting comments, photos, videos about topics of interest to the network. Social networks are also very useful in making new contacts and friends. Popular networks include MySpace, FaceBook, and Ning.


A mobile computer much like a laptop that includes the use of electronic ink or pen capabilities for inputing or manipulating information.
Thumb Drive
See Flash Drive
Turtle Art
Turtle Art is block programming software for making images with a computer. It's easy to use software is appropriate for children and powerful enough for people of all ages. While it is focused on making images, Turtle Art allows users to explore geometry and programming. Originally developed for the One Laptop Per Child initiative it is available for free upon request.
Twitter is a hybrid instant messaging/blogging tool. Users build a Twitter network by following and being followed by others on Twitter. Twitter messages (tweets) are limited to 140 characters requiring a concise structure. This "distruptive" technology is best used when seeking information from a network or providing help to another in the network.




Web 2.0
Web 2.0 or Read/Write Web are terms that are used to describe new ways to use the Internet for communication and collaboration. There are many new tools that provide improved communication , collaboration and information sharing via the web. Weblogs (blogging), wikis, podcasts are popular uses of Web 2.0 tools.
The term weblog or blog an online space or web page where an author or authors can post content in an easy to update web page. Weblogs generally are created by individuals to share information, thoughts, opinions as well as photos, audio and video content. Weblogs are considered a Web 2.0 tool.
The term wiki is Hawaiian for quick. As a computing term it means a quickly editable webpage. Wikis are collaborative in nature and lend themselves to group projects. The most effective wikis are those that are developed and maintained around a community of users, making them a powerful tool for groups of learners. What you are reading right now exists in a wiki. The Model Schools Wiki is built upon Media Wiki software, the same software used by


XML is an acronym for eXtensible Mark-up Language and is the programming language on which RSS feeds are written. XML is used in a variety of web applications as well as software that is being used today.



A Zip file refers to a common method of compressing data into a single file. Zip is the extension used by WinZip, a program for Windows computers.
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