Vocabulary is an important part of teaching and learning. In this glossary, we explain a selection of the computing-specific vocabulary.
Algorithm: A precise set of ordered steps that can be followed by a human or a computer to achieve a task.
Attribute (property): A word or a phrase that can be used to describe an object such as its colour, size, or price.
Browser: SEE: Web browser
Code: The commands that a computer can run.
Code snippet: A section of a program viewed in isolation.
Command: A single instruction that can be used in a program to control a computer.
Computer: A programmable machine that accepts and processes inputs and produces outputs (input, process, output; IPO).
Computer network: A group of interconnected computing devices.
Computer system: A combination of hardware and software that can have data input to it, which it then processes and outputs. It can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks.
Condition: A statement that can be either True or False.
Condition-controlled loop: SEE: Loop (condition-controlled).
Count-controlled loop: SEE: Loop (count-controlled).
Data: A letter, word, number etc. that has been collected for a purpose, but stored without context.
Data set: A collection of related data.
Debugging: The process of finding and correcting errors in a program.
Decompose: To break down a task into smaller, more achievable steps.
Digital device: A computer or a device with a computer inside that has been programmed for a specific task.
Domain name: The part of a website’s URL that is user friendly and identifies that it is under the control of a particular person or organisation e.g. raspberrypi.org.
Execute (run): SEE: Run
Hardware: The physical parts of a computer system.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language): A standardised language used to define the structure of web pages.
Hyperlink: (Also: link, weblink) Text or media that when clicked, takes the user to another specified location (URL).
Infinite loop: SEE: Loop (infinite).
Information: Data put into a context that provides meaning.
Information technology: The study, use, and development of computer systems for storing, processing, retrieving, and sending information.
Input: Data that is sent to a program to be processed.
Input device: A piece of hardware used to control, or send data to, a computer.
Internet: The global system of interconnected computer networks.
Loop: (Count-controlled, condition-controlled, or infinite) Commands that repeatedly run a defined section of code.
Loop (condition-controlled): A command that repeatedly runs a defined section of code until a condition is met.
Loop (count-controlled): A command that repeatedly runs a defined section of code a predefined number of times.
Loop (infinite): A command that repeatedly runs a defined section of code indefinitely.
Network: SEE: Computer network
Object: Something that can be named and has other attributes (properties), which can be labelled.
Object: Something that is uniquely identifiable and has attributes.
Output: The result of data processed by a computer.
Output device: A piece of hardware that is controlled by outputs from a computer.
Procedure: A named set of commands that can be called multiple times throughout a program. This type of subroutine does not return a value.
Process: A program, or part of a program, that is running on a computer.
Program: A set of ordered commands that can be run by a computer to complete a task.
Property (attribute): A word or a phrase that can be used to describe an object such as its colour, size, or price.
Repetition: Part of a program where one or more commands are run multiple times in a loop.
Router: A device that manages the flow of data between computer networks.
Run (execute): To action the commands in a program.
Selection: Part of a program where if a condition is met, then a set of commands is run.
Server: A networked computer that manages, stores, and provides data such as files to other computers.
Software: The programs used to control computers and perform specific tasks.
Stored (data): Data kept digitally so that it can be accessed by a computer.
Subroutine: A named sequence of commands designed to perform a specific task.
Switch (network switch): A device that manages the flow of data packets within a computer network.
Technology: The use of scientific knowledge for practical purposes.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator): The address of a file on the internet.
Variable: A named piece of data (often a number or text) stored in a computer’s memory, which can be accessed and changed by a computer program.
Web: SEE: WWW (World Wide Web).
Web address: SEE: URL (Uniform Resource Locator).
Web browser: A program used to view, navigate, and interact with web pages.
Web page: A HTML document viewed using a web browser.
Website: A collection of interlinked web pages, stored under a single domain.
WiFi: A technology that allows devices to wirelessly access a network and transfer data.
WAP (Wireless Access Point): A network device that allows wireless computing devices to connect to a wired network.
WWW (World Wide Web): A service provided via the internet that allows access to web pages and other shared files.