Introduce these key terms using easy-to-understand language and by relating the concepts to students’ experiences. Incorporate the vocabulary whenever possible, even when offline, and encourage students to use the terms in oral and written communication.  

ANONYMOUS: having a hidden identity

APP: short for “application,” a computer program that performs a specific set of functions  

BIAS: an attitude or prejudice that favors a way of feeling or acting over another

BOT: short for “robot,” a program, or sequence of computer code, that runs on the Internet; bots can be created to accomplish a specific task more quickly than a human  

BUG: error in a program that keeps it from running as it should

CLICKBAIT: sensationalist headline or link to an article, blogpost, or other Internet content that exists for the purpose of attracting attention, or “drawing clicks.” Once a user clicks on the headline or image, the website is often mostly ads.

CLIENT: application that runs on a computer or workstation and relies on a server to perform some operations

CODE (verb): to write computer instructions

COMMAND: instruction to a computer or device to perform a specific task

COMPUTER PROGRAM: list of instructions that causes a computer to behave in a certain way  

COOKIE: small file that some websites attach to a user’s hard drive while the user is browsing that site; they can be used to track user preferences, speed loading times, and for advertising.  

CREDIBILITY: being believed or accepted as true, real, or honest

CYBERBULLYING: used to describe online harassment, which can be in the form of flames, comments made in chat rooms, the sending of offensive or cruel e-mail, or even harassing others by posting on blogs, Web pages or social networking sites

DEVICE: machine or external component that runs independently of a computer

DIGITAL CITIZEN: a person who acts safely, responsibly, and respectfully online

DIGITAL ETIQUETTE: the conventions of being a responsible online citizen

DM: direct message, on Twitter or other social media platform. DMs allow a user to directly contact another user, without the messages being seen in a public forum

DOWNLOAD: To copy data from a main source to a device

EMOTICON: symbol used in text communications to convey an emotion within an electronic message

EXPORT: a way to get information out of a computer

FAKE NEWS: false information published as being authentic

FLAMING (on the Internet): starting arguments on message  boards

FOLLOWERS: people who have subscribed to an account’s updates on social media

FORUM: online discussion group.

HANDLE: name a person goes by on social media

HARDWARE: physical parts of a computer, such as the monitor and keyboard o

HIT:  retrieval of any item, like a page or a graphic, from a Web server

INPUT: a way to give information to a computer

INTERNET: a global network connecting millions of computers

ISP (Internet Service Provider): the company that gives you access to the Internet for a fee

ITERATE: to refine your code until it works as intended

LIKES: positive reaction to a post on social media; posts with more “likes” are more likely to show up in users’ newsfeeds

LINK: gateway between two

LOOP: repeating code

MALWARE: derived from the term “malicious software;” refers to any program designed to infiltrate or damage a computer or network

MEDIA LITERACY: skills required to find, evaluate, use, share, and create content online

META-SEARCH ENGINE: search engine that sends user requests to several other search engines, and then combines the different results into a single display

MODEM: device or program that enables a computer to transmit data  

PASSWORD: secret series of numbers or letters that allows you to access a locked computer or program

PERMALINK: unique web address for a single blog posting

PHISHING:  sending email that attempts to scam the user into giving up private information to be used for identity theft

PING: An alert that notifies a blog poster of a response to their post

ROUTER:  device that forwards data packets of digital  information along networks

RSS FEED: file containing a blog’s latest posts

SEARCH ALGORITHM: computer program that search engines use to determine which pages show up in search results

SEARCH ENGINE: program that searches for and finds items in an online database

SENSATIONALISM: use of shocking details or dramatic language  to cause a lot of excitement or interest

SERVER: computer or device on a network that manages network resources

SKEPTICAL: having doubt about something

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE:  provides a virtual community for people interested in a common subject or just a place to socialize with others online   

SOFTWARE: computer instructions or data; anything that can be stored electronically

THREAD: series of messages that have been posted as replies to each other in online discussions

TOUCHSCREEN: electronic display that senses physical touch by hands, fingers, or tool such as a stylus

TROJAN HORSE:  downloadable piece of software that seems like something fun or useful, but actually has malware lurking inside, such as a virus or spyware program; when downloaded and installed, the program installs the malware, too

TROLL (n): online commenter whose intent is to attack views expressed online; these attacks are often personal

TROLL (v): to deliberately post something offensive on the internet to provoke a reaction.

URL:  Uniform Resource Locator, or “address” for a web page.

WEBSITE: site or page located  on the World Wide Web

WEB CRAWLER: program or automated script that methodically browses the World Wide Web

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