- 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 be cautious.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
- 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 product.
- 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
- 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
- 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 more important.
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 world.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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 computers.
- 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
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 computer dictionaries.