Glossary (Version 8.4)

Power, capacity or tendency of a material to absorb or soak up another substance, usually a liquid.

A process of reducing complexity to formulate generalised fundamental ideas or concepts removed from specific details or situation. For example, the idea that a cricket ball is a sphere in the same way that a soccer ball is, or the concept that data can be organised in records made up of fields irrespective of whether the data are numbers, text, images or something else.

The extent to which a system, environment or object may be used irrespective of a user’s capabilities or disabilities. For example, the use of assistive technologies to allow people with physical disabilities to use computer systems, or the use of icons in place of words to allow young children to use a system.

A drawing from above (in the air) to show features of a building, landscape or environment. An aerial view is used, for example, in whole-farm plans to show the location of fences and gates, dams, waterways, specific vegetation, sheds and other buildings on a property so plans for changes can be made.

aerial view of garden

A branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art, beauty and taste. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory-emotional values, sometimes called judgements of sentiment and taste. Aesthetic judgement is concerned with the visual impact or appeal of a product or environment and is influenced by social, emotional and demographic factors.

Step-by-step procedures required to solve a problem. For example, to find the largest number in a list of positive numbers:

  • Note the first number as the largest.
  • Look through the remaining numbers, in turn, and if a number is larger than the number found in 1, note it as the largest.
  • Repeat this process until complete. The last noted number is the largest in the list.

An algorithm may be described in many ways. Flowcharts are often useful in visualising an algorithm.

A logic behind breaking down computing problems and information systems into step-by-step processes in order to solve problems or achieve specified outcomes. It involves sequencing and abstraction and leads to algorithmic statements.

A software application with a very specific or narrow purpose designed to run on mobile devices (such as smartphones or tablets) through a web browser or on a personal computer. The feature set of an app is limited when compared with a full-featured desktop application for a similar purpose. For example, a photo-editing app has a smaller set of features than an industry-standard photographic suite.

An early numeric code, later extended, used to represent 128 specific characters, including 0–9 and a–z, in computer systems. For example, capital A is represented by the binary code 100 0001.

A technology that replicates, enhances or overlays extra information about the real-world environment, using computer-generated data such as global positioning systems (GPS), sound, videos and images. Examples include a car windshield with a heads-up display (HUD) that projects three-dimensional navigation information and virtual lanes; and a swimming telecast using a line to indicate the position of the record holder in relation to the actual swimmers in the race.

In Digital Technologies, any process of transforming and manipulating data that does not require user intervention. For example, through the use of formulas in a spreadsheet, new sets of data can be processed and the results recalculated automatically, or a webcam can be turned on as a result of movement sensor input.