- Adult Basic Education. Instruction for adults reading at grade
levels 0 to 4. Majority of instruction is spent on decoding skills
(includes phonics), sight word vocabularies, word attack skills,
and survival reading (charts, graphs, signs, etc.).
- Adult Basic Education plus. Instruction for adults reading at
grade levels 4 to 8. Instruction concentrates on increasing
reading comprehension through instruction on specific reading
skills (main idea, inference, details), vocabulary development,
guided readings, and survival reading (graphs, charts, tables,
- Access Provider
- A company that sells Internet connections to people.
- Alphanumeric Key
- A key that, when tapped, produces a letter, punctuation mark,
or number on the monitor screen.
- Alterable Software
- See customizable software.
- A line of computers produced by Apple and compatibles that
operate on the MAC Operating System (Mac OS). Generally software
that runs on one Apple will run on another Apple. If using an
Apple compatible, preview software on the hardware before
purchasing it. Compatibility is not guaranteed.
- Application Software
- Programs designed to handle specific types of information and
achieve useful results or answer problems, for example, database
management, word processing, or spreadsheets.
- American Standard Code for Information Interchange. The
standard code used to transmit information within, to, and from
- A copy of a program or data file made by the user onto a
separate storage medium, such as a disk or hard disk, so that copy
will be preserved against possible loss or damage to the
- A measure of the capacity of a particular communication method
to transmit information.
- Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. A high level
language, standard on most microcomputers.
- Basic Math Skills
- Arithmetic skills that range from single digit addition
through percentages, ratios, and measurements.
- A bit of measurement used to specify the speed of data
transmission in one second intervals. Usually used in reference to
- The smallest unit of code for information occurring either as
a 1, which indicates the presence of voltage, or as a 0 (zero),
which indicates the absence of voltage.
- To load a new program into RAM. This may be done "warm" or
"cold," or, with the computer on or off.
- The ability of a program to alter its sequence according to
user choices or responses. If a computer-based training program
uses branching, it may explain why the answer is incorrect, offer
additional examples/problems, and/or reroute the student into an
additional instructional subsection when a student enters a wrong
answer. Without branching, it may simply tell the student that the
answer is wrong.
- Software programs that enable you to access Internet
resources. Browsers are most commonly used with the World Wide Web
(WWW). Examples include Netscape and Internet Explorer.
- Measurement of storage. A string of bits, generally eight,
which is often used to represent a single character.
- Computer Assisted Instruction. This is probably the most
common term used to describe learning that occurs through the use
of a computer. See also CBT.
- Computer Based Training. This is a common term used when
referring to any training that uses a computer as the
instructional delivery medium. See also CAI.
- Computer Disk-Read Only Memory. A disk encased in a plastic
coating that is "pitted" with electronic data and has an
ultra-high density storage capacity which is read by a laser.
Cannot be changed by the user.
- Common Gateway Interface. A method by which a server processes
data that was received via a form. If you reach a webpage that
calls for interaction on your part in the form of answering
questions or submitting your name or address, the server will need
CGI script in order to "do" somethingwith that information.
- A tiny silicon wafer capable of holding electronic signals.
Chips are the building blocks of computers.
- Software compatibility refers to the ability to run programs
on a variety of computers. Hardware compatibility means that
various components may be connected directly.
- Control Key
- 1) A key pressed which initiates some kind of physical control
action but which isn't printed on the output page, for example,
line feed, tabs, paragraph indention. 2) Sometimes used in
conjunction with other keys in order to define unique
- Central Processing Unit. The "brain" of the computer; the
chips that order information and direct it around the
- Cathode Ray Tube. Used for video display on a screen. See also
- The line, flashing box, or other blinking symbol that appears
on the monitor to show where the next keystroke will appear.
- Customizable Software
- Software that can be changed. Text can be deleted, inserted,
or altered, and/or questions can be modified, and/or proficiency
levels can be set.
- Information that is input to a computer system and is then
processed by a mathematical and logical operations so that it can
ultimately be output in a sensible form.
- A collection of like records of information (e.g., mailing
addresses, client profiles, book listings) that can be flexibly
organized, sorted, reordered, or selectively retrieved.
- Developmental Education. Instruction designed to help
pre-vocational and precollege transfer students gain the necessary
skills in reading, writing, and math to be successful with
vocational and transfer curricula.
- A computer-assisted instruction technique in which physical
objects, systems, and processes are shown through the use of
graphics and text; similar to animated film.
- Desktop Publishing
- The use of personal computers and application software
combining text and graphics to design hard copy layout. Produces
high-quality documents, such as periodicals, newsletters, and
- Desktop Publishing System
- A combination of hardware and software products used for
desktop publishing, including a computer, layout or
page-formatting software, and a high-resolution output device,
such as a laser printer.
- See floppy disk, hard
disk, or micro-floppy disk.
- Disk Drive
- The piece of hardware that reads floppy disks. Floppy disks
are inserted into a disk drive in order to use them.
- Domain Name System. This is the way in which the network turns
a host or Internet domain (e.g., psu.edu) into an Internet address
for use withTCP/IP. Domain - The part of a standard Internet
address that indicates the name of the computer. In the address
"email@example.com", the domain is "psu.edu".
- A collection of documents or information that describes a
computer program information system, or required data processing
- Disk Operating System. A collection of programs providing the
CPU with specific instructions for transferring data from the disk
to the computer and from the computer to the disk. Most commonly
used DOS programs are those for formatting and copying (making
- Dot Matrix Printer
- A very common type of printer that fires a row of tiny inked
steel pins onto a piece of paper to produce readable text and
- Drill and Practice
- A computer-assisted instruction technique in which a series of
structured problems or exercises with immediate feedback to
student responses is provided.
- Educational Game
- A computer-assisted instruction technique in which skill and
chance are combined for practice of previously taught
- Electronic Mail (E-mail)
- The transmission, storage, and distribution of materials in
electronic form over communication networks, such as the
- Part of a file name separated from the main part of the name
by a . (period).
- Data arranged under a single title (such as an Annual Report)
in RAM or on a disk.
- Used in some private networks to block access to certain
services in the network from the rest of the Internet. Network
firewalls add security by preventing computer hackers from
infiltrating all parts of a network, much as a building firewall
keeps a fire from spreading throughout a building.
- Floppy Disk
- A magnetized mylar wheel used to store data and programs
outside the computer RAM. Disks measure either 5.25 inches or 3.5
inches in diameter and are sealed in a protective square cover
which is lined with a soft material that cleans the disk as it
- A group of type of one style and size.
- To prepare, via a program, a floppy disk to receive data
according to the protocols of a particular DOS. No data can be
written to a disk if it has not been formatted. (Also,
- A line-mode Internet protocol that predates the Web that uses
a simple, consistent menu to access the provided information. Web
browsers cannormally communicate with gopher servers.
- Hard Disk
- Used to store data and programs outside of the computer's RAM.
Hard disk systems have faster read/write access times, high
storage capacity, and a greater reliability than do floppy or
micro-floppy disk systems.
- The physical components of a computer, i.e. keyboard, printer,
disk drive, CPU, monitor.
- High-Level Language
- Programming languages designed for users to write instructions
in English-like statements rather than in machine language.
- High Resolution
- The capability of producing and reading at least 256 lines or
columns of dot patterns on a CRT. High resolution graphics produce
images that have detail approximating that of a photograph. The
higher the resolution a device has, the clearer the image it
- Home Page
- The first, or central web page on a web site.
- HyperText Markup Language. The underlying formatting for World
Wide Web documents.
- HyperText Transfer Protocol A designation within a URL that
indicates that the site to be accessed is a hypertext resource.
When you try tocontact a Web site the first thing you type will be
"http:" which indicates that what you're requesting should be
searched for on the Web.
- Links from one document to another, or to a different place in
the same document. Hyperlinks can be text or graphic. Text
hyperlinks are usually indicated by a different color or
underlining, graphic hyperlinks may have a colored box around
them. Links used to be easily identified by their blue or purple
coloring, but people designing WWW pages are now using a variety
- IBM Family
- Computers that use an MS-DOS operating system. These computers
include IBM, Tandy, Compaq, and a variety of compatibles. It's
especially important when purchasing IBM software to preview the
software on the hardware that will be used to run that
- Information Superhighway
- A term often used by the media to describe the Internet.
- See format.
- Ink-Jet Printer
- A type of printer that fires a tiny stream of ink onto a piece
of paper to produce readable text and graphic images.
- Instructions or information going into the computer by
keystroke, light pen, touch screen, mouse, or other device.
- A loose confederation of networks around the world which are
connected through several backbone networks. The Internet grew out
of the U.S. government ARPAnet project, and has no central
- An network internal to a particular organization which uses
Internet technology and protocols. Many companies are implementing
Intranets to deliver training to diverse computer systems without
- Internet Service Provider. ISPs are companies that provide
access to the end users of the Internet.
- Joy Stick
- A hand-held device used to interact with the computer, usually
consisting of a small box with a moveable stick and a button.
- Kilobyte. 1024 bytes of memory. A byte of memory is a piece of
information stored in the computer, like one letter or one
- Placing letters relatively closer to or further from each
other; to make certain letter combinations look better.
- An input device used to communicate with the computer, similar
to a typewriter keyboard. Computer keyboards usually have extra,
specialized keys used to perform different tasks.
- Koala Pad
- A device used to interact with the computer, usually
consisting of a flat pad and a pen-like instrument used to "write"
on the pad.
- Local Area Network. A communications network that typically
uses cables to connect computers within a limited physical area
such as an office building.
- Laser Printer
- A printer that use a laser beam to imprint page images onto
- The planning, design, and arranging of text and graphics on a
- Regularly spaced intervals of the same character, usually to
lead the eye across the line, as the dots in a table of contents
between the end of a title and the page number.
- The extra space between lines of printed text (rhymes with
- Light Pen
- A hand-held optical character recognition device used for data
entry into many types of terminals.
- To enter a program or data file into RAM from an external
source such as a disk drive.
- Management System
- The record keeping system available with the software. The
system can be extensive, with multiple print out options, or it
can be a simple record of total correct answers. Not all software
contains a management system.
- The amount of storage space in a computer. If the computer
does not have enough memory, the software will not run on it.
- A list of command choices in a program displayed on the
monitor for the user's convenience.
- Micro-Floppy Disk
- Magnetized mylar wheel used for long term storage of data and
programs outside of the computer's RAM, encased in hard shells
with a metal shutter to protect the media from damage due to
improper handling or dust. The disks measure 3.5 or 5.25 inches in
- A chip, often the CPU, which is used to move data around or to
- MOdulaltor-DEModulator. A device that makes it possible to
transfer information between computers over telephone lines.
- A TV-like device through which the user views information
(also called a screen or CRT).
- Usually refers to a CRT that produces a single color, such as
green or amber. All text and graphics on this type of monitor
appear in the same color.
- A circuit board in the computer that contains many of the
chips the computer must have in order to function.
- A hand-held control device that can be used as an alternative
to the keyboard in some programs. When you move the mouse around
on the table, a corresponding pointer on the screen moves
accordingly. It is available for the Apple IIe, IIc, Apple GS,
Macintosh, IBM, and others.
- A World Wide Web browser for X-Windows, MS-Windows, and
Macintosh. Netscape supports many HTML enhancements and is the
most popular browser.
- Two or more computers physically joined together so they can
share files and information.
- Stated learning outcomes.
- Operating System
- The program by which the CPU operates.
- Optical Disc Storage
- Method of storing data which can be read by a laser. There are
three main categories
- prerecorded disks, disks that a laser drive can write on but
not erase, and erasable disks.
Performance Support Systems
- Dynamic job aids that, when loaded on a computer, enable
employees to call up training and instruction on specific issues
and questions at the precise moment they arise in the course of
- The device used to produce physical, hand-held paper
documents, such as letters, graphics, etc.
- Problem Solving
- A computer-assisted instruction technique in which students
are required to apply known information to new settings. It
demands logical thinking and the ability to follow directions
- A set of instructions written in a computer language telling
the computer how to process data or interact with
- Public Domain Software
- Software available for minimal or no charge. Listings of
public domain software can be found by contacting local and
regional user groups, in many libraries, in national exchanges,
and by contacting many of the resources listed in this
- Temporary memory in the user's work space. This is the portion
of memory where a software program's instructions (such as word
processing, spreadsheets, or database) are stored. RAM also holds
the information created while using a software package (for
example, a letter created with a word processing program).
Usually, only one software program is stored in RAM at a time.
When the computer is turned on, RAM is empty and when the computer
is turned off, all of the instructions and data in RAM are erased.
RAM is temporary and of finite size.
- The CPU process of copying information (i.e., a program or
data file) from a disk to RAM.
- Read Only Memory. Permanent system instructions built into the
computer on chips. The CPU can read the instructions in ROM, but
cannot write new ones into it.
- A common command to the computer, directing it to store the
contents of RAM on a disk or other storage device.
- A device used to scan images and translate the images into a
digitized form which can then be used by computer.
- See CRT and monitor.
- Search Engine
- A Web software application that allows you to search in its
directory for a particular word or topic. The engine will produce
a number (!)of "hits" (Web sites that may or may not be what
you're looking for) which you can then link to.
- A computer-assisted instruction technique in which real life
or hypothetical situations are imitated. It allows the student to
interact with and modify the situation and then shows the results
of their modifications.
- Site License
- The legal ability to produce copies of a piece of software for
a given location. This is usually granted by a software company
(for a fee) to a location that needs many copies of a particular
piece of software.
- Computer programs, the instructions by which the machine
operates, which includes both systems oriented programs (i.e. DOS)
and applications programs (i.e., word processing, database
management). See also program.
- Speech Digitizer
- A device that has preprogrammed sound. It is closer to the
human voice than speech synthesizers, but has a fixed vocabulary.
The "Ufonic" is an example of this kind of hardware.
- Speech Synthesizer
- A device that can "read" any computer text aloud. Sometimes
pronunciation is inaccurate or difficult to understand. The "Echo"
line is an example of a speech synthesizer.
- Keeping data or programs. Generally storage implies keeping a
file outside of RAM, as on a disk or tape for long term
- Surge Protector
- An electrical device that protects electrical equipment from
sudden variations (surges) in electrical current.
- Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol A technical
set of rules which allows networks of dissimilar computers to
communicate with one another. In order for a Web page to properly
appear on a user's home computer it needs to follow the standards
- The transmission or reception of signals by electromagnetic
means. Usually pertains to the transmission of computer signals
over telephone lines.
- A computer-assisted instruction technique in which new
information is introduced on a step-by-step basis with frequent
quizzes given to ascertain if the information is being
- Uniform Resource Locator. URLs are a standardized format for
giving an "address" on the World Wide Web.
- User's Network. A vast, uncentralized system of discussion
groups on the Internet.
- Wide Area Network. WANs are generally networks connecting
several physically distant locations. The Internet is an example
of a world wide WAN.
- Web Browser
- Software running on a computer that allows it to request and
display web pages.
- Web Page
- A single page of HTML.
- Web Server
- A computer on the Internet that stores web pages and serves
them to web browsers. A single web server can store many millions
of web pages divided into many web sites.
- Web Site
- A collection of web pages about a particular subject or
- Word Processing
- Writing software that allows the computer to resemble a
typewriter. Generally the more expensive the program, the greater
the formatting and printing options, and the longer it takes to
master the program.
- The CPU process of entering information (i.e., a program or
data file) from RAM onto a storage device such as a disk.
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