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Computer Science Glossary

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Algorithm: A step-by-step process to complete a task. 

Assistive Technology: Any device, software, or system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability.


Computational Thinking: Formulating problems in a way that enables us to use a computer and other tools to help solve them. Logically organizing and analyzing data. Representing data through abstraction such as models and simulations. Automating solutions through algorithmic thinking (a series of ordered steps). Identifying, analyzing, and implementing possible solutions with the goal of achieving the most efficient and effective combination of steps and resources. Understanding evolving capabilities, functional and non-functional testing, ethical issues, and debugging strategies. Generalizing and transferring this problem-solving process to a wide variety of problems.

Computer Science: an academic discipline that encompasses the study of computers, services, computing ethics, and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their applications, networks, and their impact on business and more generally society.

Computer Science for All (CSforALL): CSforALL is a central resource for individuals and organizations interested in K-12 computer science (CS) education. They connect providers, schools and districts, funders, and researchers working toward the goal of providing quality CS education to every child in the United States

Computer Literacy: Level of familiarity with hardware, software, cybersecurity, and internet concepts that allow one to use, support, and measure the impact of computer services. Examples include performing an internet search, creating a digital presentation, performing a backup of personal data, adjusting privacy settings, updating software, and communicating electronically.

Computing Education: The study of computer science or related activities. Includes the act of scripting, coding, web development, services, service management, and computer programming. Does NOT include uses of computer technology to solve problems (i.e. multimedia development, desktop publishing, etc.).

Debugging: The process of finding and correcting errors (bugs) in programs.
Decomposition: Breaking down a problem or system into components.

Digital Citizenship: Refers to the continuously developing normalities of appropriate, responsible, and empowered use of technology such as choosing an appropriate password and keeping it secure. 


Educational Technology: The study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. Educational technology is the process of integrating technology into education in a way that promotes a more diverse learning environment and a way for students to learn how to use technology as well as their common assignments. 


Keyboarding: The skill of proficient and accurate digital input by means of a keyboard. This includes understanding the keyboard layout and its function. 


Scalability: The capability of a network to handle a growing amount of work or its potential to be enlarged to accommodate that growth.

Sequence (noun): An ordered set of instructions.

Sequence (verb): To arrange instructions in a particular order.

Simulate: To imitate the operation of a real-world process or system.

Simulation: Imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system.


Technological Literacy: The term “technological literacy” refers to one's ability to use, manage, evaluate, and understand technology (ITEA, 2000/2002). In order to be a technologically literate citizen, a person should understand what technology is, how it works, how it shapes society, and in turn how society shapes it. Moreover, a technologically literate person has some abilities to “do” technology that enables them to use their inventiveness to design and build things and to solve practical problems that are technological in nature. A characteristic of a technologically literate person is that they are comfortable with and objective about the use of technology, neither scared of it nor infatuated with it. Technological literacy is much more than just knowledge about computers and their application. It involves a vision where every person has a degree of knowledge about the nature, behavior, power, and consequences of many aspects of technology from a real-world perspective. 

Xello: Formerly, Career Cruising, Xello is an Internet-based career exploration and planning tool used to explore career and college options and develop a career plan. Xello can be accessed from school, from home, or wherever you have access to the internet. Xello is a designated tool for the State of Wisconsin for students to develop their Academic & Career Portfolio beginning in 7th grade and continuing through 12th grade
For questions about this information, contact Amy Bires (608) 266-3851