New Tools, New Lingo

Our students’ vocabularies are changing and the terms at their disposal multiply every day.  As our tools change, so does our jargon.  If we don’t know what they are talking about how can we effeciently teach them?  I equate a teacher who is not knowledgeable in today’s terminology to an early ESL student, confused, listening, but not able to add to the conversation.  Often times these teachers become spectators in their own classrooms.

Why is it important to keep up with current trends in technology, because our students are the greatest consumers of today’s technology (or their parents are on behalf of them).

So let’s examine the ABC’s of technology!

A: an avatar is an image used to represent a person on the internet.  Many of your students will use avatars to play online games.  It is always a good idea to stress to students that it is safer to create an anonymous avatar than to post pictures of themselves online.

B: the capacity to transmit electronic communications is effected by bandwidth.  The greater the bandwidth the faster your activites on the internet and computer should occur.

C: Everyone complains about these website security precautions, but few no their title or purpose.  Captchas are used online to keep computer systems from repeatedly entering data, in other words those annoying pictures of sideways letters that you have to study and then enter in order to join a site are designed to fool computers and minimize spam.

D:  Each website has its own domain name or more formally internet domain name.  Every organization that creates a website must have an internet domain name.  This name combines organizational information as well as a top-level domain such as .com, .edu, .org, etc.

E:  When your students type papers, do they get turned in with adorable, often time annoying varieties of emoticons all over them?  These short sequences of keys typed to resemble facial expressions are found everywhere!

F:  Internet Explorer isn’t the only web browser available! Mozilla Firefox is another web browser that some prefer over IE.  Another great web browser is Google Chrome.  Why not try out another browser today?  You might just find better success with another browser.

G:  Facebook isn’t the only social networking site.  Google + may be newer, however it has some interesting perks that other social networking sites haven’t dabbled in yet.  Like to videochat, Google+ allows 10 people to videochat simultaneously.  Seems to me that Myspace and Facebook better take note of Google+ before they get surpassed.

H: Hardly a new term, but knowing exactly what is classified as hardware makes it easier for all when there is a technology issue.  Hardware is the equipment that you can touch; computer, mouse, keyboard, printer, document camera, etc.

I: Easy access to programs can be obtained through icons, icons are tiny graphics that when clicked will open files or programs for use.

J: Want to insert a picture into a project?  It might be helpful to know that the most common picture files are JPEGs. These graphic image files will end in .jpg

K: a unit of digital information on computers is a byte, so kilobytes are 1,000 bytes.  This is probably equivalent to a VERY short story.

L: most networks in small businesses are LAN networks.  LAN (Local Area Networks) only allow computers in the immediate building to log on to the network.

M:  Maybe not a new term, but certainly one we should know before it becomes extinct is Monitor.  The monitor is the display screen where the computer user can see/view the output of the keyboarding they are doing.

N:  A computer network is compromised of a group of computers sharing information and possibly hardware.  There are two types of networks we need to know about and they are LAN (local area) and WAN (wide area).  A local area network would be a small group of computers possibly sharing a printer or copier.  A wide area network would be compromised of a lot more computers and may encompass towns.  The internet is a WAN that circles the entire world.

O:  Moodle is open source.  What does open source mean?  In the collaborative environment that the birth of the internet has encouraged, some programs allow their code to be viewed and modified by anyone.  Because its code source can be viewed by all the software is most often free to use.

P:  All of us have used them, but do we know their “Technical term?”  Peripherals, such as speakers, headphones, webcams, and mice are connected to the computer via a cable.

Q: The QWERTY (pronounced KWEHR-tee ) keyboard is the standard  computer keyboard. QWERTY refers to the first six letters on the upper row of the keyboard.

R:  If you ever have a computer issue, the technology department may attempt to remote in or remote access your computer.  It may seem odd at first to watch the cursor on your computer move “of it’s own free will” but remoting in allows the tech department to get jobs done without leaving the office.  This saves both them and the teacher who needs assistance time.

S:  Diigo, delicious, and stumbleupon are just three of the many social bookmarking sites available to help us remember, share, and store information from the multitude of websites educators use.  Annoyed when you have to use a different computer and your bookmarks aren’t available?  Explore the potential of a social bookmarking site. 

T:  A tablet, is no longer a reference made to a notebook of paper.  A tablet is a portable computer that uses a touchscreen as its input device. 

U:  A newer term that has relevance in classrooms and may signify some conflict between students is unfriending someone.  When using social networking media, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and LinkedIn, people accept others as members of their page of they “friend them.”  If you remove someone from your social networking page, you have unfriended them. 

V:  A lot of students who are into games have participated in virtual reality.  Virtual reality is best described as an illusion of reality created via computer systems.  Games such as Sims, Second Life, Grand Theft Auto, and Halo are all virtual reality games in which a player assumes a character online and lives that character’s life through the game.

W:  Websites that promote collaboration, allow users to easily share information, and produce products on the internet are being dubbed Web 2.0 tools.  These tools may include but are not limited to social networking sites, social bookmarking sites, blogs, wikis, and podcasting sites.

X:  XHTML, or Extensible Hypertext Markup Language, allows webpage designers to create their own objects and tags on the webpages they develop. 

Y:  Your students probably have mentioned persuing videos on youtube.  Youtube is a video sharing website.  The slogan of this site is “broadcast yourself” and many students around the world are doing just that!  From videos about makeup, hair, video games, to personal diary entries done via video, if it’s to be found it’s been seen on youtube.  Teachers in our district now have rights to access and use youtube videos in their classrooms, however it is still blocked for students.

Z:  When you are working on powerpoints or other files where you’ve linked to outside files it is always a good idea to zip all of the files involved in a project into a compressed file, or a zip file.  Zip files allow you to send the entire document and all other documents to someone in one file, thus keeping all of your links intact.

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About bulldogtechteach

I am a technology integrator serving in a k-1 and a 2-5 elementary building. I firmly believe in the power of technology to engage students and allow them to create and master their learning.
This entry was posted in education, technology integration, Technology Tools, vocabulary and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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