CXO

Download this IT glossary to help new users decode computer lingo

Ever been at a loss to define a bitmap? What about remembering the words behind HTTP? Download our list of hardware and software terms to use in your introductory computer classes and to refresh the memory of more experienced users.


What would you do if you were suddenly dropped into a group of people speaking a foreign language and you didn't know a word of the language they spoke? I don't know about you, but I would be uncomfortable. If I couldn't understand them, how could we converse?

Let's take this scenario one step further. You are going to a cooking class you have always wanted to take, and when you get there, you find out it's in French, and English is the only language you know. Not particularly conducive to learning how to cook if you don't understand what the instructor is saying, right?

But what if there is a translator in the class, just for you? The translator is sitting by you, telling you exactly what the instructor is saying. Can you learn to cook like this? Of course, because you can understand what is being taught when it is translated into a language you know and understand. What has this got to do with being an IT trainer?

You are the translator. And the language you are translating is computer lingo.

Making life easier for new users
Unless you are teaching a group of experienced computer users, your class is most likely filled with "newbies" who don't know the language of computers. It is your job to translate these technical terms—that are like a foreign language to your students—into terminology they can understand.

Teaching new users is not the time to show off your expertise in a foreign language; it's the time to show your expertise in translation of that language. If you cannot translate well, the student will not be able to learn. You can use my glossary of IT terms in class to go over the terms and the translations with your students. Download this list now so you’ll have it ready for your next class or to pass out to your less technologically advanced coworkers.
What should we add to this list? What definitions would you change or expand? Send us your comments and critiques so we can improve the next version of this IT glossary download.

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