Tips for Parents
Understanding your student's technological world -
BlackBerry — A device that combines a cell phone, Personal Data Assistant and web browsing. Known for its handling of email, it is wireless and can handle other wireless information services.
Blogs — Short for Web log, a blog is a web page that serves as a publicly available personal journal. It does not allow visitors to adjust the original posted material; you can only add comments to the blog.
Bluetooth — Short-range radio technology designed to simplify communication among Internet devices and between devices and the Internet. It also aims to shorten data synchronization between Internet devices and other computers.
CDRW — Short for CD-ReWritable disk, it's a type of CD disk that enables you to write onto it in multiple sessions.
Cookie — A computer "cookie" is a small file which contains a unique identification tag, placed on your computer by a website. The website saves a complementary file with a matching tag. When you revisit, the website can be acquainted with you again by matching the cookie on your computer with the corresponding item in its catalog.
Cyber Communities — These virtual communities are online "locations" where people correspond with other people on a grassroots, many-to-many basis. They include Facebook, MySpace.com and others. The practice is often referred to as "social networking."
Firewall — A software program that protects your computer from offensive Web sites and potential hackers.
Firewire (also known as IEEE 1394) — A piece of hardware made up of two components: (1.) the plug in the back of your computer and (2.) a wire that connects devices working with lots more data — things like camcorders, DVD players and digital audio equipment.
HTML — Short for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a category of computer language used for files that are posted on the Internet and viewed by web browsers. HTML allows you to create web pages and emails, displaying text, graphics, clickable links or interactive forms. HTML allows customization but does have its drawbacks including taking up space in your email account, slow downloading and an increase in viruses, etc.
IM — Short for Instant Message, a type of communications service that enables you to create a kind of virtual chat room with another individual in order to correspond in real time over the Internet, similar to a telephone. While text-based and not voice-based, instant messaging systems such as Yahoo or AOL alert you whenever somebody on your private list is online. You can then initiate a chat session with that particular individual.
iPod — A type of portable media player marketed by Apple Computer. It stores music and other media in a built-in hard drive. Small and compact, it is very easy to use. Plugging your iPod into your computer allows you to download and transfer songs.
iTunes — The bundled software used for transferring music, photos and videos is called iTunes. As a music jukebox application, iTunes stores a comprehensive library of the user's music on their computer and can play music from a CD. iTunes is used in conjunction with an iPod.
Jump Drive — A jump or thumb drive is portable, stable memory storage. It is about the size of a human thumb — hence, its nickname. It is a plug-and-play portable storage device that uses flash memory and is lightweight enough to attach to a key chain. You can save files, music and pictures on a jump drive and when the user plugs the device into their USB port, the computer's operating system recognizes the device as a removable drive and assigns it a drive letter.
Podcast — An audio file that you download and listen to on your computer or a portable MP3 player such as an iPod. The word itself comes from the combination of two other words: iPod and broadcast. It is similar to a RSS.
RSS Feed — Stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS collects news from various websites and provides it to your computer in a simple form. One stays up to date by retrieving summaries of the latest content from the sites you are interested in. You save time by not needing to visit each site individually. RSS does this automatically and there is no need to join each site's email newsletter.
Sidekick — Identical in function to a BlackBerry, the T-Mobile Sidekick has a small keyboard that pivots out for a different style of typing.
SMS Short Message Service (SMS) — A service available on most digital cell phones that allows the sending of short messages, also known as text messages, between mobile phones, other handheld devices and even regular telephones. Other uses involve ordering ring tones, wallpapers and entering competitions.
Text Messaging — A convenient way to send a brief electronic letter directly to a friend's cell phone. It has developed into a kind of new language that uses abbreviations. It is used in BlackBerrys, Sidekicks, AOL and Yahoo Instant Messaging, etc.
Vcard — An electronic business card or virtual card that can be attached to email messages.
VoIP — Stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is a technology that allows you to make telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line. Basically, you make calls over your computer.
Wi-Fi — Is a play on the term Hi-Fi. Students with laptop computers that have Wi-Fi components communicate with one another over a radio frequency in much the same way that walkie-talkies do. No wires are needed to access the Internet.
Wiki — A type of webpage where visitors can make modifications to the content of the pages. For example, Wikipedia.org is a web-based encyclopedia that is created and maintained by visitors to that website. Wiki means "quick" in Hawaiian.
Researched and written by Tony Agati, a teacher and former student affairs professional from Virginia
Prepared for our institution by PaperClip Communications, www.paper-clip.com.
Copyright 2006, 125 Paterson Ave., Little Falls, NJ 07424