Adaptive Learning An educational process where the teaching methods and materials adapt to each students’ pace and level. Technology is often the vehicle for delivering this process, since software can change exercises, questions, and content easily based on previous answers and actions by a student
Assistive Technology Any piece of technology, hardware or software, that helps a person with disabilities perform everyday tasks that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. This can include everything from wheelchairs to screen readers to text telephones.
Asynchronous Learning When learners participate in an online learning course at different times, it is known as asynchronous learning. This might also be called eLearning or web-based training (WBT). Asynchronous learning allows learners to go through a course at their own pace and on their own schedule.
Audio conferencing Audio conferencing refers to a connection between three or more locations that involves a voice-only connection. This can be done via telephone or via the computer. When the audio conference is done between computers over the Internet, it uses a technology known as VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol).
Avatar An image or icon used to represent a person in a video game, social media or in a software program.
Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) Any communication method that helps individuals with speech and language impairments to communicate. AAC technologies are a sub-category of assistive technologies and include text-to-speech communicators and picture communicators.
Backchannel A secondary discussion that happens at the same time as a larger event. The discussion can be setup on an online platform (TodaysMeet, AnswerGarden) allowing participants to type comments while a presentation is going on in a meeting room.
Big Data A collection of data sets so large that specialized technologies, techniques, and technicians are required to process, manage, and store them. An industry has arisen around the processing and analysis of large volumes of student data.
Blended Learning Blended learning is an instructional approach that includes a combination of online and in-person learning activities. For example, students can complete online self-paced assignments by a certain date and then meet on-site or online for additional learning activities.
Blog Short term for WebBlog, basically an online diary or series of posts that are updated regularly.
Bluetooth Technology that uses radio waves to let devices communicate across short distances wirelessly.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Also known as Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT), this is an initiative where students bring their own mobile devices into the classroom for class purposes, as opposed to using school-issued devices. This is often seen as an alternative to 1:1 programs due to lower maintenance costs, though students without devices cannot participate.
Clickers A device or mobile app that allows students to answer a multiple-choice question. The teacher presents a question to the class, then students use their clickers to input their answer. Some use this as an alternative to paper quizzes.
Cloud A generic term used to represent the concept of distributed computing – where a set of networked computers allow for shared services. Also used synonymous with the Internet. For example: This is a buzzword that is often used improperly and inconsistently. You can simply think of it as another word for the public Internet.
Cloud Computing Another generic term that refers to the computer hardware and software that powers the cloud. This includes servers (a computer with specialized software on it), data storage, applications, and more. For example: This is another buzzword that is often used improperly and inconsistently. You can simply think of it as “a huge collection of computers around the world that allow me to do all the cool things that I can do on the Internet.”
COMPUTER-BASED TRAINING (CBT) CBT refers to any type of course that runs on a computer, either on a CD, on a person’s hard drive or on the Internet. The distinguishing point is that computer-based training does not involve an instructor or facilitator who is physically present. Now that most computer-based training occurs via the Internet, the term is used infrequently. More common terms are online learning, eLearning and Web-based Training (WBT).
Cookie A small text file containing information about you and what you’re interested in, based on your browsing history. The cookie is stored in your web browser and is sent to websites you have already visited to help them customize your visit. (When shopping if you look at a certain product the next time you visit that website the same product will show up in the advertisements or main page.)
Courseware Courseware refers to any instructional software that is delivered on a computer.
Dashboard A term used by many programs to describe the user’s control center, the place where users get an overview of their account and their activity within that program.
Digital Citizenship Standards for etiquette, ethical conduct, and safe behavior while using technology.
Digital Classroom A classroom that mostly or entirely relies on electronic devices and software instead of paper and pens. It is usually characterized by a central computing device, like a laptop or tablet, and several online software and apps.
Digital Literacy Being vested in the terms and concepts associated with using technology and digital tools
Digital Native An individual born during or after the common use of digital technologies, such as the Internet, mobile devices, apps, etc. It is assumed that such individuals have a strong grasp of digital technology because it was a regular part of their lives.
Distance Education or Distance Learning Distance Education/Learning occurs when students and their instructors are in different geographical locations and the instruction occurs on an electronic device, such as a computer or mobile phone. The learning can occur in a synchronous environment, in which all participants are connected at the same time or in an asynchronous environment, when participants are engaged in learning at different times.
Domain Name The part of a websites URL that identifies the IP address. (in the URL of www.ILclassroomsinaction.org the domain name is ILclassroomsinaction )
EdCamp A type of “unconference” where teachers choose topics at the beginning and then gather in groups based on the top selected topics. Teachers become the “experts” in the room for the discussions sharing their use or experience with the topic.
Education Technology Any kind of technology that is used for educational purposes by an educator or educational institution. Most commonly used in reference to software utilized in primary, secondary, and higher education, though it can cover much more than that.
eLEARNING eLearning (short for electronic learning) is an umbrella term that refers to all types of training, education and instruction that occurs on a digital medium, like a computer or mobile phone.
Embed To insert one item, such as a video, into another item, such as a website, in such a way that it retains all of its functions and can be operated from within that second item. The symbol for embedding looks like the: <>
Emoticon A sequence of characters made to represent a facial expression or some other visual image, like this 😊.
Flipped Classroom A form of blended learning, this is the practice of students watching lecture material (usually in video form) at home, then practicing their learning in an interactive environment in the classroom. Households without computers or an Internet connection cannot participate in this practice, however.
Gamification The practice of applying game mechanics into an activity. Examples of game mechanics are goals, badges, competition, immediate feedback, and leveling up. This does not need to be completely technology based and can be incorporated with bulletin boards for visualization of game mechanics.
GB (gigabyte) A unit of measurement for electronic data equal to 1,000 megabytes
Genius Hour Not technically a technology term…one hour per week (or per day) given to the students to pursue their own interests: also known as 20% time.
GIF (pronounced “JIF” Graphics Interchange Format – a widely used image format, especially for simple graphics. Also used for animated GIF being a set of images coded to display in a specific order giving an appearance of movement.
Hashtag A word or phrase combined with the hash or pound symbol (#), creating a unique search term that can be more easily found on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
HTML HyperText Markup Language; The language used to create web pages. HTML is the code that tells the computer what images to display, how to move the graphics on the screen, where to link all the selections a user may choose.
Hybrid Learning Synonymous with Blended Learning. See the Blended Learning definition above.
Inforgraphic A visual or graphic representation of information, using small images or icons as well as more traditional graphs and charts to represent data.
Instructional Technology A subset of education technology, this practice focuses more on the use of technology for instructional purposes, though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. For example: Mr. Garcia designs and builds courseware tools in his role as an instructional technologist, while Mrs. Singh designs and builds lesson plans, sometimes incorporating technology in her role as an educational technologist.
Instructor Lead Training (ILT) ILT typically refers to providing instruction in a classroom environment where the instructor and learners are together at the same time and in the same physical location.
Information & Communications Technology (ICT) A field related to Information Technology (IT). Used by some as synonymous with IT, and by others as more expansive than IT, since it includes communication technologies as well. In the US, IT is more commonly used within schools, while ICT is more common in the UK.
Interactive multimedia Interactive multimedia allows learners to provide input to an online course and receive feedback as a result of the input. The input might consist of a mouse click or drag, gestures, voice commands, touching an input screen, text entry and live interactions with connected participants.
IP Address Internet Protocol Address -A unique identifying number given to every computer in the world
Learning Management System (LMS) A piece of software that manages, analyzes, and runs educational courses and training programs. Also included are student registration, curriculum management, skill & competency management, and reporting features. Most modern LMS packages are web-based
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) An online course that includes video lectures, reading materials, problem sets, and a student community. Supporters see MOOCs as a disruptive innovation and detractors question its actual educational efficacy.
Mobile Learning Learning that takes place on a hand-held device, such as a mobile phone, that can take place anytime and anywhere.
Math Manipulatives An object that can be moved around as an aid for understanding a mathematical concept. Sometimes handling a real-world object can help students learn an abstract concept like addition and multiplication.
MP3 A type of audio File
MP4 A type of video file
MULTIMEDIA Multimedia refers to the presentation of information and instruction through a combination of graphics, audio, text, or video. Multimedia instruction is often interactive.
Online Learning The term online learning is often used synonymous with eLearning. It is an umbrella term that includes any type of learning accomplished on a computer and usually over the Internet.
Open Educational Resource (OER) Any online educational material that is freely accessible and openly licensed for public consumption. Such materials can be online courses, lectures, homework assignments, exercises, quizzes, interactive simulations, games, etc.
Open Source Software Any piece of software that is freely available and openly licensed. Other programmers can contribute to the original software or create their own versions of it. Most modern websites incorporate some kind of open source software, including edshelf!
Operating system (OS) The boss of a computer. The software that supports all a computer’s basic functions. Windows and Mac OS are two popular operating systems.
QR Code Quick Response Code – an image, like a bar code, that links to a specific URL, text message, or other piece of information when the code is read by a device with a scanner.
STREAMING MEDIA Streaming media refers to video and audio that is downloaded to a computer from the Internet as a continuous stream of data and is played as it reaches the destination computer.
STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) An acronym that stands for the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These fields are often grouped together because of a national movement to promote these subjects in the US. This includes initiatives to integrate their curriculums together and hopes that such an emphasis will lead to a stronger high-tech workforce
STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math) An acronym that stands for the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. This is a reaction to the STEM initiative and includes the arts as a priority as well. Though it is not yet as widely promoted as STEM, it is gaining in popularity.
Student Information System (SIS) A piece of software that manages student data. This includes grades, attendance, background information, discipline records, health records, etc. For example: As the school counselor, Mr. Rankin uses their SIS to pull Joey’s disciplinary record.
Student Response Systems Synonymous with Clickers. Sometimes also called Classroom Response Systems or, more generically, Audience Response Systems. See the Clickers definition above.
SYNCHRONOUS LEARNING When learners participate in an online learning course at the same time but in different locations, it is known as synchronous learning. Synchronous learning allows learners to interact with the instructor and other participants. This is done through software that creates a virtual classroom.
URL Uniform Resource Locator – the full “address” of a website
VIDEO CONFERENCING Video conferencing refers to the use of video technology (both hardware and software) to create a virtual meeting between two or more people in different physical locations. Participants can see and hear each other through this technology.
VIRTUAL CLASSROOM The virtual classroom refers to a digital classroom learning environment that takes place over the Internet rather than in a physical classroom. It is implemented through software that allows an instructor and students to interact.
WEBINAR A webinar is a seminar or workshop in which the facilitator and participants view the same screen at the same time. Usually the webinar has an audio component that the facilitator controls and functionality that allows participants to chat by entering text, answering polls, raising their hands and asking questions.
WEB-BASED TRAINING (WBT) WBT refers to all types of digital instruction in which the learning material is presented via the Internet.