An input accessory lets the computer user input data into the computer, whereas an output device allows the computer to communicate its results to the world outside. Input/output devices are also called I/O devices. The computer keyboard, display and sound cards are examples of I/O devices.
Operating System or OS
is a software program that enables the computer hardware to communicate with the software. An OS has three major functions: BIOS (or Basic Input/Output Systems), system resources, and networking. Without an OS, computers would be useless. The most popular OS for PCs are DOS (Disk Operating Systems), Mac OS, and Windows, but others are available, such as Linux
Directory File Structure
Fundamental to most operating systems is the concept of files and directories (or folders). A file system in most operating resembles an inverted tree with the roots at the top and branches at the bottom. This tree structure uses directories or folders to organize data and programs into groups. A file system is a complete directory structure, including a root directory and any subdirectories and files beneath it.
Shareware and freeware
software is in the public domain to be copied freely. Some programs, games or utilities can be designed and distributed as shareware until the users pay to register, commonly within 30 or 60 days. After that period, the user pays a licensing fee to continue using the software.
refers to a gap between those who have access to technology tools and those who do not. Although more Americans now own computers, groups such as pupils from low-income homes and schools, minority pupils, pupils with special needs, and girls are still far less likely to have computers and Internet Access. Lack of such technology access affects the ability of students to improve their learning, adults to learn valuable job skills, and families to benefit from online connection.
Also known as software tools, productivity software includes any software that can be used as a tool to produce documents, spreadsheets, a database, or other products. MS Word, MS Excel, and MS Access are common productivity software packages used in schools.
Circular reference of electronic spreadsheet formula happens when you enter a formula that includes functions referring back to the cell in which the formula is contained. When this happens, users receive an error message referring to circular reference.
Relative and absolute addresses
occurs when a formula is copied down a range of cells, it automatically is adjusted to be relative to the cells it refers to. Absolute addressor absolute positioning occurs when it is necessary to keep a certain position that is not relative to the new cell location. Absolute address is possible by inserting a dollar sign, $, before the column letter or a $ before the row number, or sometimes both to lock the cell location to a fixed address or position.
Many advanced users of productivity tools such as MS Office allow users to build macros to simplify their repetitive tasks. It is a series of computer actions that can be saved and run whenever the users need to perform the task. Users can record or build a macro, and then play it to automatically repeat the series of commands. For example, writers can use MS Excel macros to automate the tasks of computing class average for an exam.
More and more scientific probeware is used in classrooms or labs, with a desktop, laptop, or handheld computer to collect and analyze data from science experiments. Probeware measures phenomena such as temperature, light, light, and voltage, distance, motion, pH and force. With probeware, a portable data collecting system now puts the power of a complete laboratory at students' fingertips and replaces time-consuming data-collection tasks with hands-on scientific experience.
are antidote utilities to detect, eliminate and protect from viruses, worms and Trojans. Antivirus software typically contains an engine, a resident virus shield, virus databases or DAT files, a task scheduler, an e-mail scanner, and an update manager. It guards against computer viruses either by lurking in memory and checking everything you run for viruses or by scanning the files on the disks at a time you specify. Computer users sometimes have to install other software such as firewalls, pop-up blockers, and anti-spyware to guard their computers against other threats.
Compression and extraction tools
is the process to reduce file size through "zipping" or "archiving". The compressed or zipped file can be from a large file or can contain several files that have been squeezed into a single file. After compression, the extraction process is used to describe the process where software is decompresses to its original size. A utility software such as Win-zip usually contains both compression and extraction functions.
Database filters and queries
A filter of an electronic database program allows application of a set of selection criteria or sorting instructions to the records in a table. When a database is closed, the selection criteria and/or sorting instructions will be wiped out. In contrast to a filter, which is created for one-time use in the context of a particular table, a query is reusable. A query allows the selection criteria and/or sorting instructions to be saved and reused.
Electronic reference software
software is available in both CD and the Web formats. Electronic encyclopedia, including not only pictures, but sound and video as well. They also have powerful key word searching capabilities. In addition to electronic encyclopedias, research journals, as well as geographic, medical and educational references are now available for reasonable costs or through subscription.
software is designed for groups of students or teachers alike. The computer is viewed by a cooperative group of students or can be projected to the entire class to stimulate discussions and debates.
Without the use of search engines, it would be hard to locate anything on the Web without knowing a specific Web address. There are three major types of search engines that uses the different algorithm to search through the Web to determine the relevance of the information to what the user is searching for: those that require users to type in keywords; those that require users to type in natural languages; and those function as Web directory or yellow pages of the entire WWW.
software can be used to enhance teaching and learning in many ways. Drill and practice, educational games, tutorials, simulation, and problem solving are five common courseware types.
Tutorial and drills and practice software
software is designed to teach the skill initially by direct instruction methods. It is unique in that it presents new information and may even provide an independent teaching environment without a teacher. Drills and Practice applications are software designed to allow the user to practice a skill that has already been acquired or taught. There are thousands of drill and practice programs that teach everything from foreign languages to many other basic skills.
the computer acts as the simulation controller, scheduling the events to occur and providing the outcomes based on actions the role players take. The software uses materials and roles to help participants feel as well as understand the dynamics of a complex situation.
type of software teaches specific steps for solving certain problems. It also helps students to learn general problem-solving skills, which is a relatively sophisticated mental ability that is difficult to learn.
In computers and television, light transmissions are creating colors based on a special set of 3 primary colors: red, green, and blue. For example, red and green mix to create yellow.
Pictures of people that focus on just the head or from mid-chest and up are called mug shots. Mug shots are often used in newsletters, newspapers, school yearbooks and company directories. Mug shots of feature columnists may appear next to their column in a publication.
In traditional color theory, red, yellow and blue are the 3 pigment colors that can not be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. All other colors are derived from these 3 hues
In traditional color theory, green, orange and purple are the colors formed by mixing the primary colors.
Harmony can be defined as a pleasing arrangement of parts, whether it be music, poetry, or color. In visual experiences, harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye. It engages the viewer and creates an inner sense of order. There are three formulas for color harmony: a color scheme based on analogous colors (analogous colors are any three colors which are side by side on a 12 part color wheel), a color scheme based on complementary colors (complementary colors are any two colors which are directly opposite each other on the color wheel), and a color scheme based on nature. When something is not harmonious, it's either boring or chaotic
can be defined as a pleasing arrangement of parts, whether it be music, poetry, or color. In visual experiences, harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye. It engages the viewer and creates an inner sense of order. There are three formulas for color harmony: a color scheme based on analogous colors (analogous colors are any three colors which are side by side on a 12 part color wheel), a color scheme based on complementary colors (complementary colors are any two colors which are directly opposite each other on the color wheel), and a color scheme based on nature. When something is not harmonious, it's either boring or chaotic.
graphics are stored as mathematical descriptions of sets of lines, triangles, squares, circles, etc, with defined line widths, line colors and, for polygons, fill colors.
Paint and draw programs
The terms "paint" or "draw" have different meanings in computer applications. One major difference is in layering. Paint programs provide a single image layer, so that if new images are placed over other images, they replace the image data that they are over. Draw programs provide a stack of image layers, so that sliding an upper layer to one side can reveal image parts that were once covered.
Also known as negative space. White space describes the open space between design objects to provide spatial relationships. It should be an integral part to your page design. While some artists concentrate on what to put in, they can easily overlook what to leave out.
Graphics generally use RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) or CMYK colors. While graphics on the Web or designed for on-screen display are RGB images, both commercial offset printing and inkjet desktop printing utilize CMYK. Dots of cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow, and black (the K) are placed next to each other that trick the eyes into seeing millions of colors.
Page layout programs
enable users to format pages of text and graphics. Many word-processing systems support their own page layout functions, but professional page layout applications such as Adobe PageMaker and InDesign generally give users more control over fine points such as text flow, kerning, and positioning of graphics.
Also called a template, a style sheet is a file or form that defines the document layout such as the page size, margins, indents, rules, typeface fonts are specified in the style sheet. Style sheets are useful because the same style sheet can be used for many documents.
are often described as being serif or sans serif (without serifs). Serif is a line or curved extension projecting from the end of a letter form. The most common serif typeface is Times Roman. A common sans serif typeface is Helvetica. Sans serif is the class of type faces without serifs; Helvetica is an example. Sometimes, sans-serif typefaces are more legible than serif typefaces when the character size is small.
In desktop publishing, the first letter of a paragraph that is enlarged to "drop" down two or more line. Drop caps are often seen at the beginning of newsletter article, where the top of the first letter of the first word lines up with the top of the first sentence and drops down to the four or fifth sentence.
refers to the technique of simulating shades of gray or color by varying the size of dots in a grid, or the number of pixels in a given area.
Many designers alike prefer Macromedia Flash movies over animated GIF banners because Flash movies allow more complex animations, have high graphic quality, and can include scripting features and interactivity. End users also benefit from Flash's smaller files, faster download times and streaming capabilities. Flash movies can be displayed on more than 96 percent of computers with Internet connections.
In contrast to lossless compression, lossy compression refers to a technique of shrinking file sizes by giving away some precision of detail. JPEG images are an example of a file that is compressed this way. By reducing the quality of a picture when you save it, you can make the file size smaller.
is to have a partial image initially appear on screen rather than having to wait for the entire image to download. The main advantage of interlacing is that end users know what type of graphic image they are about to view as opposed to viewing a blank space.
In order to display a full-color graphic image on a 256-color monitor, computers simulate the colors it cannot display by way of dithering, which is combining pixels from a 256-color palette into patterns that approximate other colors. At a distance, the human eye merges the pixels into a single color.
The process of taking a series of individual pictures -- called frames -- and stringing them together in a timed sequence to give the appearance of continuous motion. Animations are motion files, either in 2-D animation or 3-D animation. On the Web, HTML's push-pull animation is very low-end. Software tools such as JAVA, VRML, DHTML, animated GIF's, Flash, and Shockwave are the latest development tools for Web animation.
Most animation software lets developers specify a beginning position and an ending position, then calculates the positions in between.
Also known as musical instrument digital interface. Rather than recording sounds, MIDI instruments/software record finger action -- what note is being played, when, and for how long. To playback MIDI files, users need a sound card that can interpret the MIDI note data, either by creating the tones themselves or playing back sounds that are stored internally as waveform
The term refers to a single complete graphic image that is displayed chronologically with other graphic images. A single frame makes up a still image, while a series of frames make up an animation
Animation key frame
frame is a single still image defined throughout an animated sequence that occurs at a pivotal point in that sequence.
is actually short for "in-between", and refers to the creation of successive frames of animation between key frames. Mmorphing one shape into another over a set period of time or else moving a shape or shapes from point A to point B over a set period of time are all examples of tweening.
the current version of systems approach of instructional design is a process comprised of a series of phases: analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. Currently, almost all ISD models are based on the generic ADDIE
is the process of sketching the content on planning worksheets or with development software. The client and the subject matter expert work closely with the development staff in creating the storyboard, which does not have to be a work of art. The idea of storyboarding is to give the production team enough information so each member can take the storyboards and begin to develop the final product.
gives the design staff and the client an early "head's up" to the final project, and helps to identify any unexpected issues. After reading the storyboard, the multimedia design team creates a prototype to demonstrate how the learner will move through and interact with the content, and how the program will look. Most project prototypes contain at least the entry page, and the main menu page for the proposed project. A design prototype should also specify how the navigation system works and looks. After seeing the design, project team members may return to the storyboard to reshape your ideas.
roles and responsibilities include: reporting to the supervisors, organizing the team members, providing project management leadership for the overall project, tracking and monitoring project budgets, deliverables and milestones, and scheduling meetings to review status of work.
are also called subject matter experts (or SMEs). A content expert's roles and responsibilities include: researching the content, helping with storyboard, and writing all of the text. For many multimedia projects in education, SME and writers are the same persons. If the content experts and the writers are different persons, the content experts work with the script writers to help communicate the right information.
roles and responsibilities include: researching K-12 educator user requirements for portal development, multi-media tools and video-mediated learning, determining the screen layout, creating the flowcharts, and specify the project design in the storyboards.
is the early testing phase of the project. The full functionality of the alpha version of the software program may not yet be implemented. This early review allows the client to evaluate the project.
version of instructional software is a full-functioning version of the product with all known problems resolved. Both the client and the design team review the beta version to search for problems that will need to be addressed. Since the beta version is at the final stage of development, the project should require very few changes or modifications.
A cross-platform multimedia authoring technology developed by Apple Computer. QuickTime files (which carry the extension .mov) combine sound, text, animation, and video. Some products in the QuickTime line include the free QuickTime Player; QuickTime Pro, a media authoring program; and QuickTime Streaming Server, which delivers streaming media over the Web.
(Moving Picture Experts Group) format create small, high quality files that require playback software. The MPEG format has evolved and now includes mp1, mp2, mp3, and mp4 compression systems. These files can be played in Windows Media Player or QuickTime Player in either Mac or Windows.
Video capture card
cards let developers record/digitize pictures for use with a computer. The pictures may be still images or movies. Once captured, the picture data is compressed using a CODEC, with playback requiring CODEC-decompression.
The "Rule of Thirds"
Each scene you shoot should have a focal point, that is, a particular subject upon which the audience will focus. Many experienced photographers know to mentally divide your viewfinder into thirds horizontally and vertically. By doing this, they make your focal point fall on the intersections of a horizontal and vertical third.
This is the process of making an outline of what a project or act will look like before it is actually created. Storyboards are used by designers to organize the ideas and content used to convey a story. Storyboards can be in the form of a flow chart, text, or graphics. Storyboards are modified throughout the design process.
is used to control the opening behind the lens that allows light to enter the camera. When lighting is low the iris may be opened to let in more light. And when the light level is high the iris can be partially closed to let in less light. By adjusting the iris photographers control the amount of light that falls on the image sensing device.
NTSC, PAL, SECAM
These are the three major standards worldwide. NTSC is the standard for video signals in the US, Japan and Canada. According to the NTSC standard, full-motion videos are digital video running at 30 fps. A full-motion video does not necessarily fill the screen. Instead, full-screen videos are digital video that fills the entire screen using 640 x 480 pixels for typical graphic. SECAM (Sequential Color with Memory) is the video format used mostly in France. PAL and SECAM both use 25 fps.
Good lighting consists of three elements: key light, fill light, and back light. The key light is usually located about 45 ° to the right or left of the camera, while the fill light is commonly located 30° to 45 ° from the camera, opposite the key light, yet at the same height. It is used to create visual separation of the subject from the background. Like the Key and Fill lights, it should be about 45 ° above the subject (if possible), and should be on as close to a direct line with the camera as is practical
Multimedia authoring programs
The term authoring suggests writing. Authoring programs are designed to help teachers and students produce courseware and programs. These authoring programs help the user develop computer programs in computer languages that can be otherwise quite difficult to learn. With the help of some authoring software, students can combine writing activities with color illustrations and sounds. Other authoring systems produce great looking multimedia projects, and electronic presentations, banners, and posters.
A compression standard that produces compressed, high-quality audio files. To create an MP3 file, you need a program that copies a song from a CD or download from the Internet to your hard drive, and an encoder to convert the file to the MP3 format. You need MP3 player hardware or software for your computer to play the music.
The term describes the data-carrying capacity of a transmission line. In other words, how much data flows on a given transmission path. It can apply to network connections, system buses, or any "pipe" through which data pours. High-bandwidth connections deliver more information at a much faster speed and therefore make full-screen, full-motion video possible.
A type of program that integrates with a software application to extend its capability. One example of a plug-in is Abode PDF Reader plug-in for Internet browsers.
In 1945, Vannevar Bush proposed a "memex" machine that would let people quickly access items of information whose meanings were connected. The term now refers to linked media or interactive media.
Also known as compact disc, read-only memory. It is a compact disc used to store computer data. CD-ROMs have a maximum capacity of 650MB.
In 1960, Ted Nelson coined the term to describe a database called Xanadu. In the system, items of information from all over the world were logically connected with hypertext links. The term now refers to HTML-coded references that point to other Web pages.
Also known as Digital versatile disc. A standard single-layer, single-sided DVD can store 4.7GB of data. These high-capacity optical discs can store large files from software applications to entire movies. DVDs come in several formats. The emergence of multi-format DVD drives is eliminating the confusion caused by these many formats
In a typical local area network (or LAN) configuration, one computer is designated as the file server which stores all of the software that controls the network, as well as the software that can be shared by the computers attached to the network. Limited to a specific location, such as a site or a building, LANs are the basic means by which districts and schools provide access to a variety of information resources.
Computer users can use a File Transport Protocol (or FTP) client to transfer files to and from computer to an FTP server or remote Internet server.
(short for Graphical User Interface) is where the user clicks on a visual screen that has icons, windows and menus, by using a pointing device, such as a mouse. Nowadays, most popular Internet browsers are GUI interface.
(short for Command Line Interface) the interface is where the user types a text command and the computer responds according to that command.
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, uses several sets of protocols, the two major ones being TCP and IP. It is the collection of communications protocols used to connect host computers on the Internet. All of the computers on the Internet speak the same TCP/IP language
As a provision for security, some technical department set up Intranets which are parts of the Internet used internally within a district or an organization. Many large metropolitan school districts maintain Intranets as a communication tools with their faculty and staff. This type of Intranets is updated regularly to include news, information, forms, policies, procedures and contact information to all employees within the organization.
In a school district, a Wide Area Network (also known as WAN) is the "backbone" that connects all local area networks across the sites and campuses to provide its users with the capability to use e-mail, connect to the Internet, and interface with external computer systems.
Most network interface cards (or NIC) are internal, with the card fitting into an expansion slot in the computer to provide the connection between the network and the workstation. Nowadays, most laptop computers are purchased with a built-in network interface card that conforms to the WI-FI standards.
(or Hypertext Markup Language) codes are document formatting codes that tell Web browsers how to display the page on the screen. HTML files contain the text to be displayed on the Web page embedded in its unique "tag" language, which specify how the text is to be formatted, where graphics will be inserted, how links are going to connect to other pages, which background color will be displayed for the page, and many other capabilities.
Graphic Interchange Format (or GIF) is universally acceptable on the Web. Images in the GIF format are restricted to 256 colors (best, actually 216 "web-safe" colors). The GIF format is suited to images composed of areas of the same solid color to allow for high compression ratios. An "animated GIF" is a specialized variety of GIF which provides animations of the graphics.
JPG or JPEG
Joint Photographic Experts Group (or JPEG or JPG) is a format for encoding photographs that uses fewer bytes than the pixel-by-pixel approaches of GIF. It supports many colors and it is possible to obtain good quality and reasonable file sizes with its 40:1 compression ratios. JPEGs are universally acceptable on the Web.
Popular Web graphic formats usually support the transparency feature of Web images where one color (often white) is set to match the background color of the browser.
Popular Web graphic formats usually support the Interlacing feature of Web images, a mechanism that displays an image gradually during transmission, in increasingly finer detail, until finally it is displayed at full quality
Lossless and lossy compressions
"Lossless" compression such as the GIF format is generally safer for recompression since it utilizes "lossless" compression. Meaning when the GIF image is compressed, no information is lost from its contents. On the other hand, formats that utilize "lossy" compression, such as JPEG mean that information are lost from the contents. Images formatted with lossy compression will look worse if it is retouched and saved repeatedly.
allows graphics to respond to mouse clicks to lead to more than one place from a single graphic. Clickable maps can be based on graphical maps such as floor plans, road maps, regional maps, and the like. The imagemapper, or simple imagemap editor, is a special category of graphic editors create clickable and animated image maps.
Distance education takes place when the student and instructor are separated by physical space or time. For hundreds of years, correspondence courses through regular mails provide one type of "distance learning". Transmitted audio/visual instructions have existed since the 1930s. Radio and video-based course work have helped students live in remote areas. Nowadays, networked computers and videoconferencing, especially those linked into the Internet, provide even more remote education opportunities. In the future, newer technologies will be adapted for the needs of distance learners.
Flaming, spam, and chain letter
Flaming messages are messages which express overly strong feelings. Spam is the term for e-mail junk mail, which should not be for¬warded. Chain letters are letters that have been forwarded from several previous e-mail readers. According to netiquette (Internet etiquette), flaming, spam, and chain letters should all be avoided.
Adaptive technologies are designed specifically for persons with disabilities. Examples include augmentative communication devices, powered wheel chairs and environmental control systems. For electronic communications, text-based resources such as bulletin boards, e-mail, and distribution lists should fully accessible to students with disabilities, regardless of the assistive technology they use. Schools should also ensure that Web pages are accessible to students and instructors using a wide variety of assistive technology. Developers have to either avoid certain types of inaccessible features or formats, or create alternative methods for accessing the inaccessible content.
Virtual learning communities
Cyberspace has the potential to be a tremendous resource for students and educators at all levels. Virtual learning communities span distances to create student groups joined by interest and expertise. Online discussion forum, distance education, and pen-pal projects are all examples of virtual learning communities.
Synchronous and asynchronous communications
In telecommunication, an asynchronous signal is one that is transmitted at a different clock rate than another signal and synchronous signals are those that run at the same clock rate. In a virtual chatroom, members communicate in real time, so they are typing and reading conversations simultaneously. This allows for synchronous meetings. In contrast to synchronously communications, newsgroups, listserv, and electronic bulletin boards allow for discussions to take place and develop asynchronously.
Today, students have a chance to learn how knowledge is used in the world outside the school through a practice known as "telementoring." A teacher no longer needs to be the sole content matter expert in the classroom. Volunteer subject matter experts, such as marine biologists, can serve as telementors to work virtually with students in mentor-protégé relationships that contribute to students' authentic learning experiences.