- A software product that lets you find,
see, and hear material on the World Wide Web, including text,
graphics, sound, and video. Popular browsers are Netscape Navigator
and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Most commercial services have
their own browsers.
- A computer disk that can store large amounts of
information; generally used on computers with CD-ROM drives. CD-ROM
stands for Compact Disk Read Only Memory. That means it can only play
back information, not record or save material.
- They allow users to communicate with each other
in "real time" (or "live"), as opposed to delayed
time as with e-mail. A user enters a chat room (usually defined
by topic), types a message into the computer, and sends it, and it
is instantly displayed on the screens of the other users in the chat
room. Admission is generally not restricted. You never know who's going
to be reading your messages or responding to them, so it is best to
- General term for large online services (e.g.,
America Online, CompuServe, Microsoft Network, Prodigy). These services
are like special clubs that require membership dues. Besides providing
access to the Internet, commercial services have lots of content,
games, and chat rooms that are available only to members.
- General term used to refer to the electronic "areas"
and communities existing on the Internet and other computer
networks, as well as to the culture that is developing around them.
- An area online focused on a specific topic where
users can read and add comments. You can find discussion groups for
almost any topic!
- "Electronic Mail." A way of sending
messages electronically from one computer user to another. Users can
send memos, letters, and other word-based messages, as well as multimedia
documents. This requires having a modem, a telephone line connected
to your computer, and an e-mail address (recognizable because of the
"@" symbol, such as email@example.com).
- A list of "Frequently Asked Questions"
about a specific Web site, mailing list, product or game. Reading
the FAQ is a great idea when you are new to a site, mailing list, or
- A community network that provides free or substantially
reduced online access, usually to local residents. Free-nets originally
focused on providing text-based access to local information and discussions;
now more are providing additional services, such as full access to
- The nuts, bolts, and wires. The actual computer
and related machines such as scanners and printers.
- The site that is the starting point on the World
Wide Web for a particular group or organization. Also used to refer
to the default page for your own browser.
- "Hypertext Markup Language." A document
format used on the World Wide Web. Text documents must be converted
to HTML in order to be readable on the Web.
HYPERLINK (like HYPERTEXT)
- An easy method of retrieving information by choosing
highlighted and underlined words in text on the screen. The words link
to other documents with related subject matter.
- The ability to find, process, and evaluate the
information individuals need to be lifelong learners equipped for the
workplace in the Information Age. As information increasingly is stored
and transmitted electronically, information technology skills are becoming
INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY (ISH)
- A term popularized by Vice President Al Gore.
The Information Superhighway is envisioned as a global high-speed network
of computers that serves thousands of users simultaneously, transmitting
e-mail, multimedia files, voice, and video. The system
links homes, offices, schools, libraries, and medical centers, so that
textual and audiovisual information can be instantly accessed and transmitted
from one computer screen to another. (See NII.)
- The largest network of computer networks in the
- Internet Service Provider. A generic term for
any company that can connect you directly to the Internet, usually
for under $20 per month. Distinguished from the commercial services
which link to the Internet, but also offer additional services only
available to their subscribers.
- A device which allows computers to communicate
with each other over telephone lines or other delivery systems. Modems
change digital signals to telephone signals for transmission and then
back to digital signals. Modems come in different speeds: the higher
the speed, the faster the data are transmitted. The fastest commercially
available modems are "56K" (or 56 kilobits per second).
- A small device attached to your computer by a
cord, which lets you give commands to the computer.
- A combination of two or more types of information
such as text, audio, video, graphics, and images.
- A colloquial term that is often used to refer
to the entirety of cyberspace, the Internet, commercial
services, Free-Nets, etc.
- The rules of cyberspace civility. Usually applied
to the Internet, where manners are enforced exclusively by fellow users.
- "National Information Infrastructure."
The U.S. Government's official term for the "Information Superhighway."
In some ways, "infrastructure" is a more accurate description
of a wired, interconnected world than the more linear "superhighway."
- Communicating over the Internet or through
a commercial network, usually via a telephone line.
- The sending of a message to a discussion group
or other public message area. The message itself is called a post.
- Rating systems are used to assess Web site
content on a number of different adult themes (e.g., sex, violence,
profanity, intolerance). You can limit your child's access to sites
with specific ratings by changing the settings on browsers such
as Microsoft Internet Explorer. Most parental control products have
their own rating systems. Remember, if you are using a rating system,
sites that have not been rated may not be accessible.
- A program found on certain sites that performs
searches for information on the Internet based on the words
or phrases you supply. Some sites have search engines that only search
within their site.
- A host computer that stores information and/or
software programs and makes them available to users of other
- A computer program; loosely defined, a set of
instructions to be used on your hardware. There is "system
software" that operates the machine itself (such as Windows and
MacOS), and there is "application software" for specific
uses-e.g., word processing, playing games, managing your money.
- A blueprint that guides the building of a technology
program in a school, district, or community.
- "Uniform Resources Locator." The World
Wide Web address of a site on the Internet. For example,
the URL for the White House is http://www.whitehouse.gov.
USERID (or User ID)
- The unique name given to (or chosen by) a user
on some Web sites and commercial systems. The User ID and sometimes
an accompanying password is used by the service to allow access to
the system and/or to track information about you.
- A location on the World Wide Web that may
incorporate graphics, sounds, and links to other sites. Web sites are
identified by an online address that starts with "http://" (e.g., http://www.pta.org).
WORLD WIDE WEB
- A hypertext-based navigation system on
the Internet that lets you browse through a variety of linked
resources. Also known as WWW and the Web.
Sources: Leadership & Technology: What School Board Members
Need to Know; America's Children and The Information Superhighway: A
Briefing Book and National Action Agenda; NetGuide: Your Complete Guide
to the Internet and Online Services, A Michael Wolff Book; and online