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.
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.
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.
area online focused on a specific topic where users can read and add
comments. You can find discussion groups for almost any topic!
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
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.
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 Internet.
nuts, bolts, and wires. The actual computer and related machines such
as scanners and printers.
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
Markup Language." A document format used on the World Wide Web.
Text documents must be converted to HTML in order to be readable on
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.
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.
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.
largest network of computer networks in the world.
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.
sending of a message to a discussion group or other public message
area. The message itself is called a post.
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.
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.
host computer that stores information and/or software programs
and makes them available to users of other computers.
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.
blueprint that guides the building of a technology program in a school,
district, or community.
Resources Locator." The World Wide Web address of a site
on the Internet. For example, the URL for the White House is
(or User ID)
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.
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).
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 computer