Dictionary and Acronym Page


This is by no means an exhaustive list of common terminology and jargon used in the digital world, but it should get you started.

Adobe Reader - Adobe Reader (formerly called Acrobat Reader) is application software available as a no-charge download from Adobe's web site, and allows the viewing and printing of PDF files. Source - - Ask is one of the search engines freely available on the internet. It claims to be easy to use and has been around since 1996. Ask Jeeves was its predecessor. Ask uses natural language and plain English and does not use confusing technical terminology, search options and symbols.
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Blog - A blog (a word formed from conjoining "Web" and "Log") is a website on which a "blogger" comments and posts, usually in the form of an online diary or commentary on news and events. Blog is also a verb - "to blog" - meaning to work on your blog. Source -

Blended learning -The use of e-learning in conjunction with face-to-face teaching.Source -

Blackboard - Blackboard is the major player in supply of Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) since taking over WebCT. They have recently patented a number of interactive mechanisms (which it is claimed) had been previously utilised within universities and other Information Technology Systems. This has created a wave of ill feeling toward the corporate giant. Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has recently implemented a Blackboard system.

Broadband -The term broadband refers to the method of transmitting voice, video, and data using frequency division multiplexing (FDM).Type of data transmission in which a single circuit can carry several channels at once, used for example in cable television. Broadband networking is one way of supplying much greater Internet bandwidth over the existing telephone system.Broadband is one of the fastest growing new technologies in history, with more than 200 million subscribers using it for Internet and entertainment connections in 2006, and forecasts that this would double by 2010. Source -

Dial-up - Connection to an online system or Internet Service Provider made by dialling via a modem over a telephone line. Source -

Dissussion rooms - Discussion boards (which is one of the features you can implement via WebCT) are a web page on which people can leave comments and information about various topics, and also reply to other people's comments as well. The act of leaving a comment or information is called 'posting'. Source -

Download - Copy a file from another computer to one's own, over a network or from the Internet. Source
The oppostie is to 'upload'.

E-learning - E-learning (the e stands for electronic) is the use of computers to enhance learning, mostly via the use of programs that aim to engage the learner in a richer, interactive learning experience.Source -

E-Assessment - The end-to-end electronic assessment process where ICT [Information and Communication Technology] is used for the presentation of assessment activity and the recording of responses. Source

Flash - Flash is a commercial product developed by Adobe. It is designed to provide content for Web pages which is richer than that from standard web technology such as HTML.Source -

Firefox - Firefox is a popular web browser developed as an alternative to Internet Explorer.Source -

Facebook - Facebook is a social networking site (like Community and Myspace) which allows members to add other members as friends and then to set up groups and communities with other members. The standard set of social networking tools (blogs, comments, chatting) is also available, but in addition Facebook also allows developers to make their own applications. Source -

GIF - Pronounced jiff or giff (hard g) stands for graphics interchange format, a bit-mapped graphics file format used by the World Wide Web, CompuServe and many BBSs. GIF supports color and various resolutions. It also includes data compression, but because it is limited to 256 colors, it is more effective for scanned images such as illustrations rather than colour photos. Source -
JPEG is better for photos.

Google - Internet search engine that ranks Web pages according to the number of links they have from other pages. It also uses sophisticated text-matching techniques to determine the importance and relevance of a site to a search. As well as searching over 4 billion Web pages for text or images, Google can also search for stories posted to news sites as well as postings to newsgroups. Google was created in 1998 by Larry Page (1973– ) and Sergei Brin (1973– ), doctoral students at Stanford University, California. The name is a play on the word ‘googol’, referring to the number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeroes. Source -

HTML - HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the language of the web - websites are written in it. Among other things, it controls the size and colour of fonts, the display of images and the operation of hyperlinks. Source -

HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a communications protocol (format used to transfer information) used to transfer or convey information on the World Wide Web. Its original purpose was to provide a way to publish and retrieve HTML hypertext pages. HTTP is a request/response protocol between clients and servers. The client making an HTTP request - such as a web browser, spider, or other end-user tool - is referred to as the //user agent//. The responding server - which stores or creates resources such as HTML files and images - is called the origin server. Source -

Hyperlink - Provides a link from one document to another or, within the same document, from one place to another. It can be activated by clicking on the link with a mouse. The link is usually highlighted in some way, coloured blue and underlined for example or by the inclusion of a small graphic. Documents linked in this way are described as hypertext. Examples of programs that use hypertext and hyperlinks are Windows help files, Acrobat, and Mosaic. Source -

Internet Explorer - Internet Explorer (IE) -- sometimes referred to as Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) -- is the most widely used World Wide Web browser. Source -

Java - Java is a programming language used on the web to create some of the more powerful websites. Source -

JPEG - (Joint Photographic Experts Group) An ISO/ITU standard for compressing still images. Pronounced "jay-peg," the JPEG format is very popular due to its variable compression range. JPEGs are saved on a sliding resolution scale based on the quality desired. For example, an image can be saved in high quality for photo printing, in medium quality for the Web and in low quality for attaching to e-mails, the latter providing the smallest file size for fastest transmission over dial-up connections. Source -

Learning object - A learning object is a piece of e-learning material. Often learning objects are developed to be reusable (that is, to be used in more than one context), and are then called Reusable Learning objects (or RLOs for short). Source -

Microsoft Word - Office Word is a powerful authoring program that gives you the ability to create and share documents by combining a comprehensive set of writing tools with the easy-to-use Microsoft Office Fluent user interface. Office Word helps information workers create professional-looking content more quickly than ever before. With a host of new tools, you can quickly construct documents from predefined parts and styles, as well as compose and publish blogs directly from within Word. Source -

Microsoft Excel - Microsoft Office Excel is a powerful tool you can use to create and format spreadsheets, and analyse and share information to make more informed decisions. Source -

Moodle - Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (educational site). Source -

MPEG - Short for Moving Picture Experts Group, and pronounced m-peg, is a working group of the ISO. The term also refers to the family of digital video compression standards and file formats developed by the group. Source -

MP3 - he name of the file extension and also the name of the type of file for MPEG, audio layer 3. Layer 3 is one of three coding schemes (layer 1, layer 2 and layer 3) for the compression of audio signals.Source -
NOTE - MPEG1, 2, 4 (3 no longer used) refers to a video and audio standard MP3 is just the audio component, the full name is MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3

Open Learning Institute -The Open Learning Institute offers their students the opportunity to complete subjects in their own time and in their own place via the Internet. Students can complete assignments on-line, view their progress and participate in on-line chat sessions and participate in on-line chat sessions and discussion groups. Source -

Open Source - Universities all over the world have started to release some online learning material free of charge. Such material provided in this way is called 'open courseware'. Source -

PDF - Short for Portable Document Format, a file format developed by Adobe Systems. PDF captures formatting information from a variety of desktop publishing applications, making it possible to send formatted documents and have them appear on the recipient's monitor or printer as they were intended. To view a file in PDF format, you need Adobe Reader, a free application distributed by Adobe Systems. Source -
The original purpose of using pdf format was that it could not be edited so it protects the author's copywrited material or corruption of the orinigal source. Nowadays, there is software which can concert pdf into word format.

Podcast - A Podcast is an audio file (usually spoken word) made available for download from the internet. Source -

Portal - A website considered as an entry point to other websites, often by being or providing access to a search engine. Source -

Powerpoint - Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 enables users to quickly create high-impact, electronic presentations, while integrating workflow and ways to easily share information. Powerpoint enables graphics and formatting capabilities to create great-looking presentations. Source -

RSS - RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication". It is a way to distribute a list of headlines, update notices, and possibly content to a large number of consumers. It is used by computer programs that organise headlines and notices for easy reading.

RLO - stands for Reusable Learning Object. E-Learning developers often attempt to create RLOs so that the learning object can be reused by other people. By creating RLOs, the development of e-learning materials can be accelerated because some resources will already exist. Source -

Safari - A web browser primarily used on Apple Macs. Source -

Search Engine -Search engines are huge databases of web page files that have been assembled automatically by machine.
There are two types of search engines:
Individual - Individual search engines compile their own searchable databases on the web.
Meta - Metasearchers do not compile databases. Instead, they search the databases of multiple sets of individual engines simultaneously.
Search engines compile their databases by employing "spiders" or "robots" ("bots") to crawl through web space from link to link, identifying and perusing pages. Sites with no links to other pages may be missed by spiders altogether. Once the spiders get to a web site, they typically index most of the words on the publicly available pages at the site. Web page owners may submit their URLs to search engines for "crawling" and eventual inclusion in their databases.
Whenever you search the web using a search engine, you're asking the engine to scan its index of sites and match your keywords and phrases with those in the texts of documents within the engine's database. Source -

Secondlife - Is an online world where you can create your own unique identity, buy and sell property all in the virtual realm. Source -

Social networking - Social networking refers to the processes and benefits offered by sites such as mySpace and Facebook. The networking takes the form of members making friends with other members, and then forming groups and communities with these friends. Tools such as blogging and online chat rooms help to develop these relationships. Source -

Spreadsheet - A spreadsheet is a table of cells arranged in rows and columns. You can create mathematical relationships between the cells by inputting formulas.

SWF - Series of letters and/or numbers specifying the location of a document on the World Wide Web. Every URL consists of a domain name, a description of the document's location within the host computer, and the name of the document itself, separated by full stops and backslashes. Thus The Times Web site can be found at, and a tribute to Elvis Presley is at The complexity of URLs explains why bookmarks and links, which save the user from the chore of typing them in, are so popular.
SWF is the file extension created by Adobe Flash products. SWF files are often used on the internet where animation or certain interactions are required. A lot of e-learning materials are developed in flash. The best way to create swf files is by using Adobe Flash. Source -

Streaming - "multimedia data transferred in a stream of packets that are interpreted and rendered, in real time, by a software application as the packets arrive.Source -

Syncryous - Most communication within a computer system is synchronous, controlled by the computer's own internal clock, while communication between computers is usually asynchronous. Synchronous telecommunications are, however, becoming more widely used. Source -

Uploading - Uploading is the opposite of downloading. By uploading a file to a web server you are placing a copy of that file on the internet. Uploading is usually done via a form on a website or via some FTP software.Source -

URL - Uniform Resource Locator (previously known as Universal Resource locator), simply the webaddress of a resource Source -

Wiki - A website (or feature on a website) which allows - and encourages - users to add, remove and edit content. All documents on a wiki are as such edited and maintained not by an individual but by a community. multimedia data transferred in a stream of packets that are interpreted and rendered, in real time, by a software application as the packets arrive. Source -

Wikipedia - The world's largest encyclopedia available on the Web at Using wiki software, Jimmy Wales started Wikipedia in 2001. By the end of 2005, there were 1.8 million entries in more than 100 languages on every conceivable subject, written and edited by hundreds of thousands of contributors from all walks of life. Since Wikipedia is an unrestricted wiki, anyone can create or edit an entry. Source -

WebCT - WebCT (Course Tools), now owned by Blackboard and being phased out, is an online proprietary virtual learning environment system which is sold to colleges and other institutions and is used in many campuses for e-learning. Instructors could add to their WebCT courses tools such as discussion boards, mail systems and live chat, along with content such as documents and web pages. Source -

Web2 - This is a broad term given to 'second-generation' websites which allow users to collaborate and to share information. Although it does sound like a whole new internet, it is merely a phrase coined to describe the above - there is no need to upgrade! Source -

www - World Wide Web -The www makes up a large part of the internet. It consists of a complete set of electronic documents on all internet servers that are connected over the internet. It is accessible to users via a simple "point and click" system. These documents are made available in a protocol known as HTTP. Source -

XML - XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. It is a language used by computer programs to communicate with each other and over the web. It has the benefit that you can define your own content easily and with a universally acknowledged structure. Hence XML files always have a structure data that other systems can recognise and use. Source -


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