Office for Children - School Readiness

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

703-324-8100
TTY 711

Pennino Building, 12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 920
Fairfax, VA 22035

Betsi Closter,
Director

Tapping into Technology - Glossary

Tapping Into Technology Booklet Cover; image of children with adult holding and looking at digital device; Fairfax Futures logo

 

 

 

Page 11 - Glossary

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Terms Related to Computers

Chromebook – A specific type of laptop that runs on the Google Chrome operating system which allows access to custom applications and cloud-based programs. There are many different brands of chromebooks including (but not limited to) HP, Dell, Samsung, Acer, and Toshiba.

Computer – an electronic device used for storing, processing, and sharing data.

Cursor – the movable indicator on a computer screen that identifies the point that will be affected by input from the user (often recognized as the blinking point on a computer screen).

CPU – stands for central processing unit. It can be thought of as the “brains” of the computer that carries out major operations.

Desktop – a type of computer intended for regular use at a single location. Also refers to the main screen of the computer from which you access programs and folders.

Digital Media – digital content including text, graphics, audio, and video that can be transmitted over Internet or computer networks.

Drives – the device on or related to a computer that reads or stores data. Drives may be embedded in the computer system (such as the hard drive, often referred to as the “C” drive), portable (such as a flash drive or external drive), or shared via an Internet or intranet storage system/server.

Hardware – physical pieces of equipment related to a computer. Computer hardware includes items like the monitor, CPU, keyboard, and mouse.

Laptop – a type of computer designed to be portable.

Macintosh – also referred to as “Mac” or “Apple” is a brand of computer that has several major differences from PCs, including a unique operating system that only runs on Macintosh products.

Monitor – the screen component of a computer.

Mouse – the movable hand-held (hand-operated) device that is moved around on a flat surface and controls the cursor to be directed and scrolled across a computer or laptop screen.

Operating System – sometimes abbreviated as OS. An operating system manages and runs all the programs on a computer. It is important to note that different types of computers run different types of operating systems. The type of operating system a device has determines what kinds of programs or applications you can use.

PC – stands for personal computer but is often used to distinguish between Macintosh or Apple brand computers which have a different type of operating system than PCs. There are many different brands of PCs including (but not limited to) Dell, HP, Toshiba, Microsoft, Intel, Acer, and Lenovo.

Platform – an underlying computer system on which applications and programs operate.

Server – a storage system and computer program used to organize and save data for multiple computers/users. Users on networked servers can store and access files on a managed network system, often referred to as an intranet connection.

Software – programs that can be loaded onto a computer to perform different functions. A wellknown example is the Microsoft Office suite. USB Flash Drive – often referred to as a thumb drive, a USB flash drive is a lightweight, removable, and portable data storage device.

USB Flash Drive – often referred to as a thumb drive, a USB flash drive is a lightweight, removable, and portable data storage device. USB stands for Universal Serial Bus which

Windows – a popular operating system designed by Microsoft and largely used on PC computers. Current products include Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows Vista.

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Terms Related to Mobile Devices

Android – refers to an open-source operating system used for many smartphones and tablets.

Application – a type of software designed for mobile devices, often referred to as an “app.”

Cloud-Based – generally refers to online storage as opposed to storage on a user’s local computer. Online storage means that users can access their information from any computer with Internet access.

iPhone/iPad – smartphones and tablets created by the Macintosh/Apple brand. These devices use an operating system exclusively available for Apple hardware and that is not open-source. These devices do not use the Android operating system.

Mobile Device – refers to a computing device that is typically small enough to be handheld. Common examples include smartphones and tablets. Mobile devices often have different operating systems than traditional desktop and laptop computers.

Open-Source – software for which the code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified.

Operating System – sometimes abbreviated as OS. Both computers and mobile devices have operating systems that manage and run all programs and applications. However, computers and mobile devices have different types of operating systems. This is why some programs only work on mobile devices and some programs only work on computers. It is also important to note that different types of mobile devices run different types of operating systems. The type of operating system a device has determines what kinds of programs or applications you can use.

Smartphone – a cellular phone that is able to perform many of the functions of a computer.

Tablet – a mobile computer with a touchscreen display equipped with sensors including a camera and microphone.

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Terms Related to Internet Access

Bandwidth – refers to the rate of data transfer that an Internet connection has the ability to provide.

Broadband – refers to a common type of Internet connection that includes DSL, cable, fiber optic, and satellite.

Flash – usually refers to Adobe Flash, a multimedia technology that allows web developers to incorporate animation and interactive content into websites. Not all systems support Adobe Flash; depending on the device or web browser you are using, some websites might not load properly.

Internet – also known as the World Wide Web, is a global system of connected computers that host and share information. The World Wide Web is often abbreviated “www” at the beginning of many website URLs.

Internet Browser – a program used to access, search for, and display information from the Internet. Well-known examples include Internet Explorer, FireFox, Safari, and Google Chrome.

Intranet – refers to a private network accessible only to the members of a group or organization. This is different from the Internet which is public and accessible to everyone.

ISP – stands for Internet service provider, refers to a company that provides Internet access to individuals and businesses.

Link – also referred to as a hyperlink describes a word, phrase, or image that appears in a webpage and, when clicked, will take you to a different webpage or website.

Mbps – stands for millions of bits per second, describes a measurement of bandwidth or data transfer.

Modem – hardware associated with establishing an Internet connection to a computer. The modem takes the signal from the Internet service provider and translates it into a language that the computer can understand and use.

Router – hardware associated with establishing an Internet connection to a computer. The router forwards the Internet signal to other computers and devices that may share the same Internet connection.

URL – stands for Uniform Resource Locator and is often referred to as the web address. URLs often begin with http://www. and allow your computer to locate where to find specific websites across the Internet.

Webpage – a single web document that can display any combination of text, audio, video, and more.

Website – a collection of connected web pages that display any combination of text, audio, video and more.

Wireless – sending and receiving electronic signals by using radio waves instead

PDF version of Tapping Into Technology *

* Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination in all county programs, services and activities. To request reasonable accommodations or to receive this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-8100 or TTY 711.

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