Highly technical terms rewritten by English teachers...
1:1: The ratio one-to-one means there is a computing device for every student.
Acceptable Use Policy (AUP): A document that you and your students sign to acknowledge understanding of the rules and expectations for using the computers, network, and Internet access provided by the school or district.
Backchannel: An online space for communication during a face-to-face discussion or presentation. See Chapter 6 for examples.
Backup: An extra copy of digital files kept in another location. For example, you may save a document on your computer but also save a copy to a cloud storage service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. External hard drives and flash drives are other forms of backup.
Blended Learning: Leveraging technology to move some activities to online spaces, which frees up classroom time for guided practice and collaboration. Learning becomes a blend of face-to-face and virtual environments.
Blog: Website content that is updated regularly by one or more authors, usually in short narrative or informational segments. Blog is an abbreviation for web log.
BYOD: Bring Your Own Device is a model for integrating technology that encourages all students to bring their own computers or tablets to school.
Cloud: A large warehouse that stores your data for you. Many online services (Flicker, Google, Dropbox, Amazon, iCloud) provide “cloud” storage for your data. Using one of these services can be a good way to create a backup of your important files.
Dongle: A cable or adapter that attaches to your computer. For example, you will need a dongle to attach your iPad to a VGA cable, so you can project it. We suggest avoiding the term dongle in the classroom when students are present. Try adapter instead.
Embed: To take content from one website and insert it into another location. Many creation sites offer embed codes, a bit of HTML code that sits inside those sideways carrot arrows < > that you can use to make that content appear directly on your website instead of as a link.
Export: The process of transferring your creation to a format that can be accessed by others. If you create a movie in video-editing software, for example, you will need to export it as an MP4 file so that others can view it. In some programs, you use “Save as” to change the type of file, such as converting a Word document into a PDF.
File Type: The extension on a file name tells you its file type. A Word document has the extension .doc or .docx. A photo file might be .png or .jpg. Knowing what kind of file you are working with can help you edit, adapt, or share that document with ease.
Hashtag: A word with a # symbol in front of it. Technically, the hashtag is just the symbol, but when the # comes attached to a word, it often becomes a link. Common on social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram, hashtags help users find similar content. If you see #edtech, for example, you are probably reading a tweet about educational technology. Click on the #edtech to see more tweets on that topic.
HDMI: High-Definition Multimedia Interface. Most modern projectors are going to have an HDMI input. This means a better picture for your content, but you also might have to jump through some hoops to connect things. HDMI also provides an audio channel, which means you get picture and sound with one connection.
Java: A programming language that website developers use to make their websites run better. You need some software called the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) on your computer to make those websites work the way they should. Keep your JRE up to date for security purposes.
LMS: A learning management system is a protected website that your and your students can use to exchange information digitally. You can use the LMS to post assignments and collect student work. Many LMSs offer discussion boards, internal blogs, and other fun virtual classroom activities.
Mirroring: Making the image on one computer or tablet appear on another computer or tablet. With the right software, you can mirror a tablet screen to your computer. Search [mirroring software] for some options that will be compatible with your devices.
Open Source: Noncommercial software created by a community and available for free. The Firefox browser is one example.
Platform: The type of device or operating system you use. Mac and Windows are two common but different platforms. Tablet devices are another common platform. When someone asks you what platform you are using, answer by explaining the device and the operating system, such as “My students are using laptops running Windows 8” or “My students have iPads, and they just upgraded to the latest iOS.” Sometimes the platform will determine your options.
PLN: A personal learning network refers to the group of people you interact with and learn from on a regular basis.
QR Code: A quick response code is a square with lots of pixelated black dots. When scanned with an app, the code usually becomes the address to a website and then takes you there. QR codes can be a great way to help your students get to information fast.
Refresh: To reload a web page. The icon usually looks like a circle with an embedded arrow. Refreshing the web page is often the first thing to try when it isn’t working right. (Trying a different web browser is the next step.)
Screencasting: A video recording of your computer screen, which also records your voice. Screencasting is a great way to make video lessons for your students and is easier than you think. Search [screencasting] for easy software options.
Screenshot: A picture taken from your computer screen or tablet screen. Use a screenshot to show your students what they should be doing, or capture a piece of content you want to keep.
Settings: Most apps, websites, and programs have settings, which are usually found by clicking the icon that looks like a gear. When you are learning about a new app, website, or program, you should always explore the settings to see which features you can and can’t change, including privacy, sharing, and backup options. Notification settings are particularly important to adjust to eliminate messages you really don’t need.
Social Media: Online communication platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+. Social media enables large numbers of people to exchange information online.
Storage Space: The amount of space a file takes up on your computer. A simple text document might use only a few kilobytes, whereas most photographs require a few megabytes. One thousand megabytes equals a gigabyte; about fifteen minutes of video recorded on your phone will take up a gigabyte of storage space. One thousand gigabytes equals a terabyte. The trend toward larger capacity and less expensive storage is expected to continue.
Sync: Short for synchronize, sync means to match the contents of one device to another. If you have an account with a cloud storage system, you can use it to sync your data across your devices.
Tabs: Multiple windows open within the same web browser. They appear across the top of your screen like tabs in a three-ring binder. Each tab will display the name of the web page it is holding. Click on the name to switch between pages easily. This is often called tabbed browsing.
Undo: To go back a step. Lots of programs offer an undo option. Look for an arrow pointing backward. You can press the Control key and the Z key at the same time to undo the last thing you did. Ctrl+z is the common abbreviation for this process. On a Mac, the undo option abbreviation is Command+z. (We use this a lot.)
Update: To make sure your software or apps are the most current versions. You can also update a blog or a web page by adding new information to the page. If you see “technical difficulties” displayed on a page, you may need to update software or apps.
Upload: To move a file from your computer to a website. Sometimes students will upload their work to your LMS.
URL: The “universal resource locator” is the specific address of any web page. It always begins with http://, or https:// if it is a secure site.
USB: The Universal Serial Bus is a flat rectangular port on your laptop that enables you to plug in a mouse, a remote clicker, or an external hard drive, among other things. Most of the things you plug into your computer will temporarily go into the USB port.
Username: The name an app or website uses to identify you. To be safe, we recommend that students avoid using a full first and last name as their usernames.
VoIP: Voice and video calls over the Internet, such as through Skype and Google Voice.
Webcam: A camera built into your device or attached by USB that sends a video signal over the Internet. When you make a Skype call or participate in a Google Hangout, you will use a web camera to send the images.
Wi-Fi: Internet access without wires. Wi-Fi works through a radio signal. It is usually slower and less reliable than a wired connection, but unless you are downloading large files or having a video call, you probably won’t notice the difference. Wi-Fi problems are among the most common sources of technical problems that occur in a 1:1 classroom. Getting thirty-six students online at once means you need a Wi-Fi access point that can handle the load.
Wiki: A website that can be edited by the users of that site. Wikipedia is the most famous version of this.
Workflow: The process of moving digital material from one platform or app to another, such as sending or receiving materials to and from students and colleagues. Another form of workflow is the process or steps you take to accomplish a task digitally.