Glossary


        Code.org CS Fundamentals

Encouraging students to learn and use official computer science terms will enable them to communicate correctly and efficiently with others and builds their knowledge such that it can be further developed without having to relearn terms and concepts at a later time. The terms and concepts used in the unplugged lessons are defined using words that young students can understand.

Teaching Tip

Best practice is to introduce the terms with easy-to-understand language, relate the terms to previous experiences, use the terms repeatedly beyond the lesson itself throughout the entire course (and in other situations) when appropriate, and reinforce students’ use in oral and written communication.

The following terms are introduced in an unplugged lesson as either a vocabulary word or as a term related to the online Blockly programming interface. Terms are subsequently reinforced in the following online puzzles and activities. Most terms appear multiple times throughout the courses and lessons providing the students with many opportunities to deepen their understanding and assimilate the words into conversations, both in and outside of the classroom.


Vocabulary

abstraction

Pulling out specific differences to make one solution work for multiple problems.

accessibility

The design of products, devices, services, or environments taking into consideration the ability for all users to access, including people who experience disabilities or those who are limited by older or slower technology.

algorithm

A list of steps to finish a task. A set of instructions that can be performed with or without a computer. For example, the collection of steps to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is an algorithm.

binary

A way of representing information using only two options.

binary alphabet

The two options used in your binary code.

bit

A contraction of "Binary Digit". A bit is the single unit of information in a computer, typically represented as a 0 or 1.

block-based programming language

Any programming language that lets users create programs by manipulating “blocks” or graphical programing elements, rather than writing code using text. Examples include Code Studio, Scratch, Blockly, and Swift. (Sometimes called visual coding, drag and drop programming, or graphical programming blocks)

Blockly

The visual programming language used in Code.org's online learning system for K-5 students.

bug

An error in a program that prevents the program from running as expected.

byte

the most common fundamental unit of digital data eg. Kilobyte, Megabyte, etc. A single byte is 8 bits-worth of data.

call (a variable)

Use a variable in a program.

call (a function)

This is the piece of code that you add to a program to indicate that the program should run the code inside a function at a certain time.

click

Press the mouse button.

code

One or more commands or algorithm(s) designed to be carried out by a computer. See also: program

command

An instruction for the computer. Many commands put together make up algorithms and computer programs.

computational thinking

Mental processes and strategies that include: decomposition, pattern matching, abstraction, algorithms (decomposing problems into smaller, more manageable problems, finding repeating patterns, abstracting specific differences to make one solution work for multiple problems, and creating step-by-step algorithms).

computer science

Using the power of computers to solve problems.

conditionals

Statements that only run under certain conditions or situations.

crowdsourcing

Getting help from a large group of people to finish something faster.

cyberbullying

Doing something on the internet, usually again and again, to make another personal feel angry, sad, or scared.

data

Information. Often, quantities, characters, or symbols that are the inputs and outputs of computer programs.

debugging

Finding and fixing errors in programs.

decompose

Break a problem down into smaller pieces.

define (a function)

To add code inside a function so that the program knows what it is supposed to do when the function is called.

digital citizen

Someone who acts safely, responsibly, and respectfully online.

digital footprint

The information about someone on the Internet.

DNS (domain name service)

The service that translates URLs to IP addresses.

double-click

Press the mouse button twice very quickly

drag

Click your mouse button and hold as you move the mouse pointer to a new location

drop

Release your mouse button to "let go" of an item that you are dragging

DSL/cable

A method of sending information using telephone or television cables.

event

An action that causes something to happen.

event-handler

A monitor for a specific event or action on a computer. When you write code for an event handler, it will be executed every time that event or action occurs. Many event-handlers respond to human actions such as mouse clicks.

F.A.I.L

First Attempt In Learning

fiber optic cable

A connection that uses light to transmit information.

for loop

A loop with a predetermined beginning, end, and increment (step interval).

frustrated

Feeling annoyed or angry because something is not the way you want it.

function

A piece of code that you can easily call over and over again. Functions are sometimes called ‘procedures.’ A function definition is a segment of code that includes the steps performed in the function. A function call is the code segment, typically within the main logic of the program, which invokes the function.

function call

The piece of code that you add to a program to indicate that the program should run the code inside a function at a certain time.

function definition

The code inside a function that instructs the program on what to do when the function is called.

if-statement

The common programming structure that implements "conditional statements".

input

A way to give information to a computer.

Internet

A group of computers and servers that are connected to each other.

IP address

A number assigned to any item that is connected to the Internet.

iteration

A repetitive action or command typically created with programming loops.

loop

The action of doing something over and over again.

online

Connected to the internet.

output

A way to get information out of a computer.

packets

Small chunks of information that have been carefully formed from larger chunks of information.

pattern matching

Finding similarities between things.

Parameter

An extra piece of information that you pass to the function to customize it for a specific need.

persistence

Trying again and again, even when something is very hard.

pixel

Short for "picture element" it is the fundamental unit of a digital image, typically a tiny square or dot which contains a single point of color of a larger image.

program

An algorithm that has been coded into something that can be run by a machine.

programming

The art of creating a program.

repeat

To do something again.

run program

Cause the computer to execute the commands you've written in your program.

search engine

A program that searches for and identifies items in a database that correspond to keywords or characters specified by the user, used especially for finding particular sites on the World Wide Web.

servers

Computers that exist only to provide things to others.

toolbox

The tall grey bar in the middle section of Code.org's online learning system that contains all of the commands you can use to write your program.

trustworthy

Able to be relied on as honest or truthful.

try

Attempt to do something

URL (universal resource locator)

A relatively easy-to-remember address for calling a web page (like www.code.org).

username

A name you make up so that you can see or do things on a website, sometimes called a “screen name.”

variable

A placeholder for a piece of information that can change.

website

A location connected to the Internet that maintains one or more pages on the World Wide Web.

while loop

A loop that continues to repeat while a condition is true.

Wi-Fi

A wireless method of sending information using radio waves.

workspace

The white area on the right side of Code.org's online learning system where you drag and drop commands to build your program.