Glossary (Version 8.4)

Temperature range between 5º Celsius and 60º Celsius. In this zone, bacteria that cause food poisoning can multiply quickly to unsafe levels. High-risk foods should be stored properly to avoid the danger zone temperatures.

In Digital Technologies, discrete representation of information using number codes. Data may include characters (for example, alphabetic letters, numbers and symbols), images, sounds and/or instructions that, when represented by number codes, can be manipulated, stored and communicated by digital systems. For example, characters may be represented using ASCII code or images may be represented by a bitmap of numbers representing each ‘dot’ or pixel.

A central place where data are stored and maintained. For example, a database on a server computer for the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a weather bureau or a bank.

A collection of data organised by records and fields that can be easily stored, accessed, managed and updated. Each discrete piece of data to be stored is represented by a field (for example, song title, song artist or bank account number, date of transaction); and values in the fields that are associated with an entity (for example, a song, a bank transaction) are a record. Interaction with a database usually takes place through a user interface designed specifically for the structure and use of the data stored in it.

A collection of data combined for a specific purpose. All data should be interconnected either by being in the same file or in files related to each other so they can be viewed together, and are usually collected together. Examples include data collected from a survey entered into a single spreadsheet, or a library of clip art.

To separate a complex problem into parts to allow a problem to be more easily understood. For example, to create an interactive story, one can decompose the problem to a list of characters and their characteristics (for example, clothing), the actions of the characters, the backdrops and the sequence of scenes with reference to which characters, actions and backdrops are involved in each scene. Decomposition may be represented in diagrams.

A process of dismantling or pulling a product or system apart to systematically identify and analyse components and their relationships. Also see components.

A concise statement clarifying a project task and defining a need or opportunity to be resolved after some analysis, investigation and research. It usually identifies users, criteria for success, constraints, available resources and timeframe for a project and may include possible consequences and impacts.

A process that typically involves investigating and defining; generating and designing; producing and implementing; evaluating; and collaborating and managing to create a designed solution that considers social, cultural and environmental factors. In Design and Technologies, technologies processes include design processes and production processes.

Use of strategies for understanding design problems and opportunities, visualising and generating creative and innovative ideas, and analysing and evaluating those ideas that best meet the criteria for success and planning.

In Design and Technologies, a product, service or environment that has been created for a specific purpose or intention as a result of design thinking, design processes and production processes.

In Design and Technologies, a process that typically involves investigating and defining; generating; producing and implementing; evaluating; and collaborating and managing to create a designed solution.

In Digital Technologies, one step in a four-stage process of defining, designing, implementing and evaluating to create a digital solution.

A method used by a human to check the logic of a computer program's algorithm to reduce the likelihood of errors occurring. This may be done on paper, using a diagram, or mentally trying a sample of typical inputs to see what the outputs would be. For example, to desk check a branching statement {IF age >65 THEN ‘retire’ ELSE ‘keep working’}, the values for age of 64, 65 and 66 could be tried to show that 64 and 65 would result in ‘keep working’ and 66 in ‘retire’ so that it could be decided if the statement worked as intended.

An acceptance and upholding of the norms of appropriate, responsible behaviour with regard to the use of digital technologies. This involves using digital technologies effectively and not misusing them to disadvantage others. Digital citizenship includes appropriate online etiquette, literacy in how digital technologies work and how to use them, an understanding of ethics and related law, knowing how to stay safe online, and advice on related health and safety issues such as predators and the permanence of data.

A situation, or sphere of activity, or simulated ‘place’ that is entirely presented or experienced with digital technologies. For example, a social network that provides a digital environment for communicating with friends, or software that provides a digital environment for editing photographs.

A total set of data left behind by a person using a digital system. A person’s digital footprint includes all information actively provided by that person such as interactions on social networks (for example, comments, photographs), online purchases, website logons, emails and instant messages. It also includes passive information such as logs of software installed and used on a computer, metadata associated with files, a user’s IP address, a device being used to access a web page, and a user’s browsing history stored as cookies or by internet service providers.

The nature and forms of information stored digitally, and processes that transform digital data into information for various purposes and meanings, including structures, properties, features and conventions of particular forms of digital information and appropriate methods of storage, transmission and presentation of each form.

A result (or output) of transforming data into information or action using digital systems, skills, techniques and processes to meet a need or opportunity.

Digital hardware and software components (internal and external) used to transform data into a digital solution. When digital systems are connected, they form a network. For example:

  • a smartphone is a digital system that has software (apps, an operating system), input components (for example, touch screen, keyboard, camera and microphone), output components (for example, screen and speakers), memory components (for example, silicon chips, solid state drives), communication components (for example, SIM card, wi-fi, bluetooth or mobile network antennas), and a processor made up of one or more silicon chips.
  • a desktop computer with specific software and hardware components for dairy farming. The computer is connected via cables to milking equipment and via wi-fi to sensors that read tags on the cows. Through these hardware components the software records how much milk each cow provides. Such systems can also algorithmically control attaching milking equipment to each cow, providing feed and opening gates.

Any technology controlled using digital instructions, including computer hardware and software, digital media and media devices, digital toys and accessories, and contemporary and emerging communication technologies. These technologies are based on instructions given, using binary (0 or 1) code, that invariably mean one or more processors are present to respond to these instructions. Computers, smartphones, digital cameras, printers and robots are all examples of digital technologies.

Data that have information added (for example, a digital signature) before these data are sent over a network so that a receiving digital device knows what computer has sent the data and that the data have not been changed along the way. A digital signature is mathematically created using cryptography (hashed). For example, a digital signature may be added to a PDF document in Acrobat as a digital ID (or private key) that includes a name and email address in the added information.

Australian standards for engineering and technical drawing. Identified as Australian Standard AS 1100, the standards include a number of parts that describe the conventions for Australian engineers, designers, architects and associated tradespeople such as builders and plumbers to follow. AS 1100 incorporates general principles for technical drawing, including dimensioning, types of lines and layouts to use, scales, symbols, abbreviations and their meanings. It also includes mechanical engineering drawing, including information for surface texture, welding, centre holes, gears, etc.

An ability of an object or system to withstand or resist wear, pressure or damage over a long period of time and remain in good condition. For example, long-lasting outdoor furniture made of suitable materials and construction methods to withstand rain, heat and light from the sun; a sports uniform made of suitable materials to withstand frequent washing and wear and tear from the movement of the sportsperson. Also see properties.