Kids on the Net includes many types of
children's writing from stories to recipes.
One of the most exciting types of writing featured on the
site is hypertext. Hypertext is writing
which uses the power of computers and the Internet to allow
the reader to click links on the page which can go to all
sorts of places: different versions of the next chapter, alternative
endings, descriptions, information, pictures, sounds or anything
else that can feature on a web page!
If you want to know more about the possibilities of using
hypertext in the classroom, read Helen
If you are quite new to web writing or just want to know
what PDF means then the glossary below may help.
C D E F
G H I J
K L M N
O P Q R
S T U V
W X Y Z
- Add-in: A mini program which runs in conjunction
with a web browser or other application that adds to the functions
of that program. The add-in will not necessarily run independently
of the main application. Also known as Plug-In
- Address: The location of an Internet resource.
An email address typically appears something like email@example.com.
A web address will look like http://www.eteachersportal.com
- ADSL ("Asymmetric" Digital Subscriber
Line"): A faster way to connect to the Internet. Theoretically
ADSL allows download speeds of up to 9 megabits per second and
upload speeds of up to 640 kilobits per second.
- Anonymous FTP: An anonymous FTP site allows
Internet users to log in and download files from a computer
without having a userid and password for that system. To login
it is usual to type anonymous as the userid and your email address
as the password. See also FTP.
Bandwidth: The amount of information you
can send through a connection. Usually measured in bits-per-second.
A full page of English text is about 16,000 bits, which takes
about a second on a fast modem. The faster your modem the
more bandwidth you have (think of it as a wider water pipe).
Everything you send or receive or see on the Web is transferred
through your connection, so when an advert downloads from,
e.g., a webpage, you can see it as "theft of your bandwidth".
Bitmap File: A common image format (.bmp)
defined by a rectangular pattern of pixels. The .bmp file
is often large and detailed compared to the .jpg or .gif file
formats which are used on the Web.
Bookmark (or Favourite): A record on your
computer pointing to a particular Web site. Within your browser,
you can bookmark interesting pages (or add them to Favorites)
so that you can return to them easily.
- Broadband: Fast connection to the Internet.
- Browser: A program or
piece of software that is used to look at World Wide Web pages.
Examples include Netscape, Microsoft's Internet Explorer and
- Byte: A set of Bits that represent a single
character. Usually there are 8 Bits in a Byte, sometimes more,
depending on how the measurement is being made. See also: Bit
- Cache: A section on your computer disc which
stores files and information.
- Cascading menu: A way of navigating a Web
site in which each entry on the menu brings up a submenu. The
eteachers' Portyal has a cascading menu. Move your cursor up
to the heading About in the navigtaion bar on this page to see
an example. There may be several levels before the entries become
clickable hyperlinks (most of ours are clickable).
- CD-ROM (CD - Read Only Memory): A CD for
storing data files. It is only possible to read from (open files
on) a CD-ROM and not write to (Save files on) it.
- CD-R: A Recordable CD which does allow you
save a collection of files onto it in one "burn" process.
Good for backup or copies of web projects. Not reusable.
- CD-RW (ReWritable CD): Can save files on
more than one occasion: even better for backup archiving and
- Chat: A system that allows for live real-time
online communication between Internet users. One of the commonest
types is called Internet Relay Chat. Safe use of chat reuqires
you to select your chatroom carefully to ensuire it is properly
moderated. Kids on the Net does not operate chatrooms,
- Check box: A small square in an online form
which you click on to activate a tick or check mark.
- Cookie: Files stored on your hard drive
by your Web browser that hold information about your browsing
habits, like what sites you have visited, which newsgroups you
have read, etc. Cookies might contain information such as login
or registration information, online "shopping cart"
information, user preferences, etc. When a Server receives a
request from a Browser that includes a Cookie, the Server is
able to use the information stored in the Cookie. For example,
the Server might customize what is sent back to the user, or
keep a log of particular user's requests. Cookies are usually
set to expire after a predetermined amount of time. Cookies
do not read your hard drive and send your life story to the
CIA, but they can be used to gather more information about a
user than would be possible without them. See also: Browser,
- Cyberspace: Term originated by author William
Gibson in his novel Neuromancer. The word Cyberspace is currently
used to describe a variety of computer-based activities. I like
to think of it as the place you go when you're online.
- Dial-up Connection: A connection to the
Internet via phone and modem.
- Direct Connection: A connection made directly
to the Internet - much faster than a dial-up connection.
- Discussion Group: A group of people connected
via a mailing list or web-based discussion system, usually dedicated
to a particular subject of interest.
- Domain Name: The unique
name that identifies an Internet site so that you don't need
to know the true numerical IP address.. Domain Names always
have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left
is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most
general. A given machine may have more than one Domain Name
(eg kidsonthenet.org.uk and kidsonthenet.com both point here)
but a given Domain Name (eg helenwhitehead.com) points to only
- Domain: The Internet is divided into smaller
sets known as domains, including .com (business), .gov (government),
.edu (educational) and others.
- Download: The process of getting data file(s)
from a remote computer or server on the Web and copying them
onto your own computer. This happens every time you click on
a web link, view an image or listen to an audio file. The opposite
action is upload where a local file is copied to a server, typically
when you are adding or replacing files on your website.
- DVD or digital video disc, also digital
versatile disc: a storage format particularly suitable for multimedia
and films. It is replacing the CD as storage in PCs.
- email (Electronic Mail): Messages, usually
text, sent from one person to another via computer. Email can
also be sent automatically to a large number of addresses (Mailing
- Emoticon: A combination of characters that
form a facial expression. For example, if you turn your head
sideways, the characters : ) make a smiley face, and the characters
8 ) make a four-eyed smiley. Frequently used in email messages
to convey a particular tone.
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions): FAQs are
a collection of common questions and answers on a particular
subject. There are hundreds of FAQs on subjects as diverse as
Pet Grooming and Cryptography. FAQs are usually written by people
who have tired of answering the same question over and over.
- Firewall: A combination of hardware and
software that separates a LAN into two or more parts for security
purposes. To the user a firewall is usually only visible when
it stops something such as a virus or access to chat.
- FreeWare: Software that is available for
download and unlimited use without charge. Compare to shareware.
- FTP (File Transfer Protocol):
A set of rules for exchanging files between computers via the
Internet. FTP is a special way to login to another Internet
site for the purposes of retrieving and/or sending files. You
would probably use FTP to upload files to your website.
- GIF (Graphic Interchange
Format): A common format for image files, especially suitable
for images containing large areas of the same colour, drawings.
Most images seen on web pages are GIF files. See also: JPEG
- Gigabyte: 1000 or 1024 Megabytes, depending
on who is measuring. See also: Byte,
- Hit: As used in reference to the Web, "hit"
means a single request from a web browser for a single item
from a web server; thus in order for a web browser to display
a page that contains 3 graphics, 4 "hits" would occur
at the server: 1 for the HTML page, and one for each of the
3 graphics. "Hits" are often used as a very rough
measure of load on a server, e.g. "Our server has been
getting 300,000 hits per month." Because each "hit"
can represent anything from a request for a tiny document (or
even a request for a missing document) all the way to a request
that requires some significant extra processing (such as a complex
search request), the actual load on a machine from 1 hit is
almost impossible to define. The number of actual visits is
more helpful as a measure.
- Home Page (or Homepage): 1. The web page
that your browser is set to use when it starts up. 2. The main
web page for a business, organization, person or simply the
main or first page out of a collection of web pages 3. A personal
website e.g. "Check out so-and-so's new Home Page."
See also: Web
- Host: Any computer on a network that is
a repository for services available to other computers on the
network. It is quite common to have one host machine provide
- HTML (HyperText Markup
Language): The coding language used to create Hypertext documents
for use on the World Wide Web. HTML looks a lot like old-fashioned
typesetting code, where you surround a block of text with codes
<tags> that indicate how it should appear,. Additionally,
in HTML you can specify that a block of text, or a word, is
hyperlinked to another file which may be on the same server
or anywhere on the Internet. HTML files are meant to be viewed
using a World Wide Web Client Program, such as Netscape or Internet
- HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol - a set
of instructions for communication between a server and a World
Wide Web client.
- Hyperlink: Technically, a connection between
two anchors. Clicking on one anchor will take you to the linked
anchor. Can be within the same document/page or two totally
different documents on the same server or anywhere on the Internet.
The msot commonly encountered hyperlinks are on web pages or
in Word documents.
- Hypertext: Generally, any text that contains
links to other documents - words or phrases in the document
that can be chosen by a reader and which cause another document
to be retrieved and displayed. A document that contains links
to other documents, commonly seen in Web pages and help files.
- Internet: The vast worldwide
network of inter-connected computers communicating via an agreed
upon set of Internet protocol. These TCP/IP protocols evolved
from the ARPANET of the late 60's and early 70's. The Internet
now connects hundreds of thousands of independent networks into
a vast global internet.
- Intranet: A private network inside a company
or organization that uses the same kinds of software that you
would find on the public Internet, but that is only for internal
use. As the Internet has become more popular many of the tools
used on the Internet are being used in private networks, for
example, many companies have web servers that are available
only to employees. Note that an Intranet may not actually be
an internet — it may simply be a network.
- IP Address or Number (Internet Protocol
Address or Number): Sometimes called a dotted quad. A unique
number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g. 220.127.116.11
Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number
- if a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really
on the Internet. Most machines also have one or more Domain
Names that are easier for people to remember. See also: Domain
- ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network):
A way to move more data over existing regular phone lines allowing
for the simultaneous delivery of audio, video and data. It claims
to provide speeds of roughly 128,000 bits-per-second over regular
- ISP (Internet Service Provider): The company
which provides you with a connection to the Internet via either
a Dial-up Connection or a Direct Connection.
- Java: Java is a network-oriented
programming language, similar to C++, invented by Sun Microsystems
that is specifically designed for writing programs that are
capable of running on any computer regardless of the operating
system and can be safely downloaded to your computer through
the Internet and immediately. Using small Java programs (called
"Applets"), Web pages can include functions such as
animations, calculators, and other fancy trick
language that is mostly used in web pages, usually to add features
included in an HTML file it relies upon the browser to interpret
Sheets (CSS), and later versions of HTML (4.0 and later) the
Java are two different programming languages. See also: HTML,
- JPEG (Joint Photographic
Experts Group): JPEG (or JPG) is a common image for image files.
JPEG format is preferred to the GIF format for photographic
images as opposed to line art or simple logo art. See also:
- Kilobyte (KB): A thousand
bytes. Actually, usually 1024 (2^10) bytes. See also: Bit
- LAN (Local Area Network): A computer network
limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or
floor of a building.
- Link: Another name for a hyperlink.
- Linux: An operating system that is not built
by Microsoft. It is operated under Open Source, many developers
working together to share their programming.
- Login/Logon: (Noun) The
account name used to gain access to a computer system. Not a
secret: contrast with Password. (Verb) The act of entering into
a computer system. See also: Password,
- Mailing List: A list of email addresses
to which messages are sent. The list is often automated. It
allows people to send e-mail to one address, whereupon their
message is copied and sent to all of the other subscribers to
- Megabyte or MB: A million
bytes. Actually, technically, 1024 kilobytes. See also: Kilobyte
- Menu bar: An area of the screen where links
are gathered. Also called navigation bar.
- Modem (MOdulator, DEModulator): A device
that you connect to your computer and to a phone line, that
allows the computer to talk to other computers through the phone
system. Basically, modems do for computers what a telephone
does for humans.
- Mozilla: a company producing web software
including the Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email software.
- MP3: A music file format often used on the
Internet. It can be played with most currently available music
players including RealPlayer, iTunes and Windows Media Player.
- MPEG: Motion Picture Experts Group - a video
file format offering excellent quality in a relatively small
file. Video files found on the Internet are frequently stored
in the MPEG format.
- Multimedia: A combination of media types
on a single document, including: text, graphics, animation,
audio and video.
- Netiquette: The etiquette on the Internet.
e.g., In email, always use a subject line and sign your name.
In a discussion forum, don't type all in capitals as it's considered
- Netscape: A WWW Browser and the name of
a company. The Netscape (tm) browser was originally based on
the Mosaic program developed at the National Center for Supercomputing
Applications (NCSA). Netscape has grown in features rapidly
and is widely recognized as the best and most popular web browser.
Netscape corporation also produces web server software. Netscape
provided major improvements in speed and interface over other
browsers, and has also engendered debate by creating new elements
for the HTML language used by Web pages -- but the Netscape
extensions to HTML are not universally supported. The main author
of Netscape, Mark Andreessen, was hired away from the NCSA by
Jim Clark, and they founded a company called Mosaic Communications
and soon changed the name to Netscape Communications Corporation.
See also: Browser, Server, WWW
- Network: A system of
2 or more computers connected together exchanging information
and sharing resources with each other. A LAN is a small form
of network in comparison with the Internet which is a worldwide
network of computers.
- Newbie: A new Internet user,
or a new user of any service such as a forum.
- Node: Any single computer connected to a
- Online: When you connect to the Internet,
you are online.
- Page: On the Web, an HTML document.
- Password: A code used
to gain access to a protected system. Good passwords contain
letters and non-letters and are not simple combinations such
as virtue7. A good password might be: Heap$16 See also: Login
- PDF: Portable Document Format. A popular
file format used extensively for downloaded worksheets. It works
in conjunction with Adobe Acrobat Reader (a free download) and
displays documents exactly as they would appear on paper.
- Pixel: Short for picture element - the smallest
unit of resolution on a monitor. Commonly used as a unit of
- Plug-in: A (usually small) piece of software
that adds features to a larger piece of software. Examples include
Macromedia's Shockwave and Flash, providing animation, and RealAudio,
offering streamed sound files over the Internet. The idea behind
plug-ins is that a small piece of software is loaded into memory
by the larger program, adding a new feature, and that users
need only install the few plug-ins that they need, out of a
much larger pool of possibilities. Plug-ins are usually created
by people other than the publishers of the software the plug-in
works with. Compared to helpers, the multimedia files do not
need to be downloaded before shown or played.
- POP: Post Office Protocol - a method of
storing and returning email.
- Portal: Usually used as a marketing term
to described a Web site that is or is intended to be the first
place people see when using the Web. It may offer a variety
of resources and services so that people canuse that site
their main "point of entry" (hence "portal")
to the Web. A portal may be subject specific, e.g., the eTeachers'
a portal for all interested in digital literacy.
- Post: To send a message to a mailing list
or message board.
- Posting: A single message entered into a
network communications system. E.g. A single message posted
to a message board.
- Protocol: An agreed upon set of rules by
which computers exchange information.
- Provider: An Internet Service Provider,
- Pull-down menu: In a form you sometimes
get a choice of entries such as Country. Use the arrow to display
the full list and scroll to the entry that is appropriate.
- QuickTime: A common video file format created
by Apple Computer. Video files found on the Internet are often
stored in the QuickTime format - they require a special viewer
program for playback. They can be played on Apple or PC computers.
- Recycle Bin: A holding area for deleted
files before they are erased for good.
- Register: With shareware or commercial software,
when you contact the vendor and pay for the product, you are
registering. In return, you will receive either a password to
turn the program into the full version, or a copy of the full
- Scroll arrows: At the top and bottom of
scroll bars, click to scroll the page in the direction of the
- Scroll bars: On the right or bottom of a
page if all of it will not fit on a screen. You can click and
hold then move the scroll box or use the arrows to navigate.
- Search Engine: A tool for searching information
on the Internet by topic. Popular engines include Google, Altavista
- Server: One half of the
client-server protocol, runs on a networked computer and responds
to requests submitted by the client. Your World Wide Web browser
is a client of a World Wide Web server.
- Shareware: Software that is available on
a free limited trial basis. Sometimes this is a fully featured
product, other times it lacks some of the features of the commercial
version. If you find the product useful, you are expected to
pay for and register the software, for which in return you will
receive the full featured commercial version. (Freeware is software
which is completely free.)
- Signature: A personal tag automatically
appended to an email message. May be short, such as the author's
name, or quite long, such as a favorite quote.
- Site (also Web site): A single or collection
of related Web pages.
- SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol): The
main protocol used to send electronic mail on the Internet.
- Snail Mail: Plain old paper mail.
- SPAM: Sending multiple, sometimes thousands,
of unwelcome messages to a newsgroup or mailing list or individuals'
email boxes to promote a commercial product or Web site.
- Subscribe: To become of a member of. One
can subscribe to a mailing list, a newsgroup, an online service
or an Internet Service.
- Terminal: A device that allows you to send
commands to a computer somewhere else. At a minimum, this usually
means a keyboard and a display screen and some simple circuitry.
Usually you will use terminal software in a personal computer
- the software pretends to be (emulates) a physical terminal
and allows you to type commands to a computer somewhere else.
- Text box: A field element in an online form
into which you type some kind of text e.g. your name, or your
message on a bulletin board.
- Thread: An ongoing message based conversation
on a single subject.
- TIFF: Tag Image File Format - a popular
graphic image file format.
- Title bar: The line of text right across
the top of the window. On the Internet it will show the title
of the web page.
- Toolbar: A series of icons in any software
program usually along the top or side of the window. Provides
the tools for using the program. For example, in Internet Explorer
you would find icons for Back, Refresh, Home and so on.
- Trackball: An alternative to a mouse in
which only a small ball is set into the top and manipulated
with a finger, rather than the whole mouse device moving across
- UNIX: A powerful operating system used on
the backbone machines of the Internet. World Wide Web servers
frequently run on UNIX.
- Upload: To copy a file from a local computer
connected to the Internet to a remote computer. The opposite
- URL: Uniform Resource Locator - the "address"
of a webpage. An example would be http://www.kidsonthenet.com. Note
that not all begin with "www". You can type this directly
into the Address box of a browser. A web page URL always starts
with http:// but modern browsers generally don't require you
to enter this.
- Vertical scroll bar: Can be used to navigate
up and down a webpage that fills more than one screen.
- Virus: A program designed to be malicious
and to do harm to computers and/or networks. Often spread via
email. You need Anti-Virus software to protect from this, and
everyone should have such software. If you have a cable modem
or other "always-on" connection, even at home, you
should also have firewall software (see Firewall).
- Visit: Synonymous with viewing a World Wide
- WAV: Waveform Audio (.wav) - a traditional
audio file format for DOS/Windows computers. Files are larger
than MP3 files.
- Web Page: A single HTML page. It may comprise
more than one screen and if so is navigated via scroll bars.
It may contain pictures, audio, animation or video and may contain
links within itself or to other pages or pieces of information.
- Website: A collection of related webpages,
e.g., on a single topic or a single artwork.
- Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, ME, XP: Different
versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system.
- Word processor: A program that allows the
user to manipulate text, edit, cut and paste, print etc.
- World Wide Web or WWW
or the Web: Frequently used (incorrectly) when
referring to "The Internet", WWW has two major meanings
- First, loosely used: the whole constellation of resources
that can be accessed using Gopher, FTP, HTTP, telnet, USENET,
WAIS and some other tools. Second, the universe of hypertext
servers (HTTP servers) which are the servers that allow text,
graphics, sound files, etc. to be mixed together.
- Worm: A type of virus or malicious code
that spreads over the Internet.
- WYSIWYG or what you see is what you get:
A program where as you are editing you can see approximately
what the final version will look like.
- ZIP: A compressed file format (.zip). Many
files available on the Internet are compressed or zipped in
order to reduce storage space and transfer times. To uncompress
the file, you need a utility like PKZip (DOS) or WinZip (Windows).