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Technology for All Americans Project (TfAA) logo

Condensed Glossary

Of Terms Denoted On The TfAAP Web Pages *

Note: The ITEA-TfAAP webpages are intended to present the reader with an historical perspective of the project and the ground-breaking work it accomplished. The TfAAP web pages are archival and will not continue to be updated. After the TfAAP web pages were archived in January 2006, ITEA had a name change and became the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA). The name was not changed on these archival pages.

For your convenience this page opens in a separate window. To keep the page readily available as you are reading through this web site, minimize the browser by clicking on the minus symbol in the upper, right corner. To access the page again, click “Glossary” in the quick launch bar. In Windows the quick launch bar is located at the bottom of the desktop. While this page remains open (even if minimized) links to it will not function.

A |  B |  C |  D |  E |  F-G |  H |  I |  J |  K |  L |  M |  N-O-P |  Q-R |  S |  T |  U |  V |  W-X-Y-Z

- A -

Ability — The capacity to determine the application of knowledge and skills.

Across grade levels — Inclusive of all grades specified in the identified levels of an institution of learning, such as across grades kindergarten through twelve for public education.

Activity — A process, function, or task that occurs over a period of time and has recognizable results.

Administrator — Professional who manages any aspect of the educational system, including supervisors and teachers as appropriate.

Advisory committee — An organized body comprised of informed and qualified individuals with a specified responsibility to give advice in the development of an idea or process. Members may include parents, business and industry personnel, local engineers, technologists, and interested citizens.

Articulated/Articulation — A planned sequence of curricula and course offerings from Grades K-12. The planned sequence may involve looking at course offerings across grade levels (vertical articulation) or the curriculum at a single grade level (horizontal articulation).

Assessment — 1. See student assessment. 2. See evaluation. Note: STL, AETL, and the addenda documents differentiate between assessment and evaluation, taking the position that students are assessed and programs are evaluated.

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- B -

Benchmark — In Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology (ITEA, 2000/2002), it is a written statement that describes the specific developmental components by various grade bands (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) that students should know and be able to do in order to achieve a standard.

Best practices — What works and does not work in the laboratory-classroom.

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- C -

Cognitive — 1. Having a basis in or being reducible to empirical, factual knowledge. 2. A teaching method that recognizes the close relationship between what is known and what is to be learned. The teaching proceeds to build on the student's knowledge base by helping the student associate new material with something that is familiar.

Content — See content standards.

Content standards — 1. The standards in Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology that provide written statements of the knowledge and abilities students should possess in order to be technologically literate. 2. The standards in other content areas that specify what students should know and be able to do, including those in National Science Education Standards or Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.

Continuous — Uninterrupted in time, sequence, substance, or extent.

Course — A series of units that lasts for a specified period of time (semester, year, etc.) and is designed around a specified school subject.

Criteria — Desired specifications (elements or features) of a product or system.

Curriculum/Curricula — Specifications of the way content is delivered, including the structure, organization, balance, and presentation of content in the laboratory-classroom.

Curriculum development — The process of creating planned curriculum, pedagogy, instruction, and presentation modes.

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- D -

Design — An iterative decision-making process that produces plans by which resources are converted into products or systems that meet human needs and wants or solve problems.

Develop — To change the form of something through a succession of states or stages, each of which is preparatory to the next. The successive changes are undertaken to improve the quality of or refine the resulting object or software.

Disciplines — Specified realms of content.

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- E -

Educational standards — See standard.

Educational (instructional) technology — 1. The study of computers and other media. 2. The use of technological developments, such as computers, audiovisual equipment, and mass media, as tools to enhance and optimize the teaching and learning environment in all school subjects, including technology education.

Educators — Those professionals involved in the teaching and learning process, including teachers and administrators.

Effective — Produces the desired results with efficiency.

Engineering — The profession of or work performed by an engineer. Engineering involves the knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences (biological and physical) gained by study, experience, and practice that are applied with judgment and creativity to develop ways to utilize the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind.

Expert — Having specialized knowledge and/or ability.

Evaluate/Evaluation — Collection and processing of information and data to determine how well a design meets the requirements and to provide direction for improvements. Note: STL, AETL, and the addenda documents differentiate between assessment and evaluation, taking the position that students are assessed and programs are evaluated. See also program evaluation.

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- F & G -

Goal — The expected end result. In standards-based education, this can be specifically applied to learning, instruction, student assessment, professional development, and program enhancement.

Grade level — 1. A stage in the development of a child's education (i.e., K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12). 2. From grade to grade and across grade bands (i.e., Grades 2-3 or Grades 3-5).

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- H -

Hands-on — Experiences or activities that involve tacit doing as a means of acquiring, or a complement to acquiring, knowledge, and abilities.

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- I -

Implement/Implementation — To proceed with practical application.

Information system — A system of elements that receive and transfer information. This system may use different types of carriers, such as satellites, fiber optics, cables, and telephone lines, in which switching and storage devices are often important parts.

In-service — 1. A practicing educator. 2. Workshops, lectures, and other educational opportunities designed to keep practicing professionals abreast of the latest developments in their fields.

Integrated/Integration — The process of bringing all parts together into a whole.

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- J -

Journal — A record of understandings, reflections, and/or opinions written as periodic entries (daily, weekly).

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- K -

Knowledge — 1. The body of truth, information, and principles acquired by mankind. 2. Interpreted information that can be used.

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- L -

Laboratory-classroom — The environment in which student learning related to the study of technology takes place. At the elementary school level, this environment will likely be a regular classroom. At the middle and high school levels, a separate laboratory-classroom with areas for hands-on activities as well as group instruction could constitute the environment.

Lesson — Day-by-day plan for learning in the classroom.

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- M -

Mathematics — The study of abstract patterns and relationships that results in an exact language used to communicate about them.

Model — A visual, mathematical, or three-dimensional representation in detail of an object or design, often smaller than the original. A model is often used to test ideas, make changes to a design, and to learn more about what would happen to a similar, real object.

Modification — 1. Changing to ensure accuracy. 2. Adjustment in focus or level of rigor.

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- N, O, & P -

Perspective — An individual point of view based on experience.

Power — 1. The amount of work done in a given period of time. 2. The source of energy or motive force by which a physical system or machine is operated.

Practices — The established applications of knowledge.

Pre-service — 1. A teacher candidate. 2. Undergraduate education for those who intend to teach.

Process — 1. Human activities used to create, invent, design, transform, produce, control, maintain, and use products or systems. 2. A systematic sequence of actions that combines resources to produce an output.

Professional — Of or relating to practicing one's occupation with skill, knowledge, dedication, and with a conscious accountability for one's actions.

Professional development — A continuous process of lifelong learning and growth that begins early in life, continues through the undergraduate, pre-service experience, and extends through the in-service years.

Program — Everything that affects student learning, including content, professional development, curricula, instruction, student assessment, and the learning environment, implemented across grade levels.

Project — A teaching or assessment method used to enable students to apply their knowledge and abilities. These may take many forms and are limited by time, resources, and imagination.

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- Q & R -

Research — Systematic, scientific, documented study.

Resource — The things needed to get a job done. In a technological system, the basic technological resources are: energy, capital, information, machines and tools, materials, people, and time.

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- S -

Science — Understanding the natural world.

Skill — An ability that has been acquired by training or experience.

Standard — A written statement or statements about what is valued that can be used for making a judgment of quality.

Standards-based — Educational standards provide the content basis on which student learning is built. Everything that affects student learning is planned to support students as they attain standards.

Standards-based reform — An educational movement that supports maintaining high academic expectations, or standards, for all students that holds schools, teachers, and students accountable for student learning and achievement.

Strategy/Strategies — An elaborate and systematic plan of action.

Structure — Something that has been constructed or built of many parts and held or put together in a particular way.

Student assessment — A systematic, multi-step process of collecting evidence on student learning, understanding, and abilities and using that information to inform instruction and provide feedback to the learner, thereby enhancing learning.

Study of technology — Also referred to as technological study. Any formal or informal education about human innovation, change, or modification of the natural environment. See also technology education.

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- T -

Teacher candidates — Individuals preparing to teach.

Teacher educators — Individuals who deliver pre-service and in-service teacher education, including, but not limited to, college and university faculty.

Technological literacy — The ability to use, manage, understand, and evaluate technology.

Technological literacy standards — The standards in Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology and Advancing Excellence in Technological Literacy: Student Assessment, Professional Development, and Program Standards that identify the content and provide criteria for the implementation of that content for developing technological literacy.

Technological study — See technology education.

Technology — The innovation, change, or modification of the natural environment to satisfy perceived human needs and wants.

Technology education — A school subject specifically designed to help students develop technological literacy.

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- U -

Unit — An organized series of learning activities, lectures, projects, and other teaching strategies that focuses on a specific topic related to the curriculum as a whole.

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- V -

Vision — A contemplative image of future promise and possibility articulated with the intention to inspire others.

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- W, X, Y, & Z -

Workshop — A meeting or series of meetings devoted to discussion and demonstration of practical applications in a specialized field or subject.

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TfAAP was initiated and administered by the ITEA, and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

* Glossary Terms for STL, ATEL, and Addenda, a complete glossary of terms used in the publications developed by the Technology for All Americans Project (TfAAP) is available for download in printable PDF format on the TfAAP Publications page.


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