Don’t know your ePub from your JPEG?

I was talking with one of my fellow Learning Technologists the other day and mentioned that I’d ‘googled’ something. Technically I’m not sure whether ‘googling’ and ‘googled’ are actually words but it did get me to thinking about some of the technical jargon that I use in my daily work. I’ve made a list below of some of the common words (and their definitions) that I use regularly:

  • CSS – Cascading StyleSheets. This can be applied to HTML to define the appearance of a website.
  • ePub – Electronic Publication. This file format is the industry standard for creating e-books. It can be used across a range of devices and formatted to display accurately to that device.
  • GIF – Graphics Interface Format. Web friendly file format suitable for graphics only and can support limited animation.
    HTML– HyperText Markup Language. The language used to create websites.
  • JPEG (JPG) – Joint Photographic Experts Group. Web and print friendly file format most commonly used for photographic images.
  • MP3 – Common audio file format. This file format is designed to reduce file size while retaining audio quality.
  • MP4 – Common video file format. It can also be used for audio, still images and subtitles. MP4s tend to produce a smaller file size than other formats while retaining quality making it suitable for Internet streaming.
  • PDF – Portable Document File. This is the standard file format for downloadable, printable documents on the web. This file format can contain text, images or both, as well as hyperlinks. PDFs cannot be easily edited but can be annotated either through a PDF viewer such as Adobe Acrobat or through other open source software.
  • RSS – Commonly known as Really Simple Syndication. This is a web feed which publishes updated information from blogs, news headlines, video and audio in a format that can be easily read through an RSS reader. An RSS feed is constructed using XML (Extensible Markup Language).
  • TIFF -Tagged Image File Format. Print friendly due to its lossless compression which enables it to retain a high quality when edited and then resaved.
  • WAV – Waveform Audio File Format. Windows based file format for audio, tends to produce larger file sizes making it unsuitable for Internet streaming.

This is just a handful of the jargon that I and my fellow Learning Technologists use, and it’s by no means complete! Feel free to comment if you would like a file format, code, or any other jargon briefly explaining or if you’d like to provide an alternative definition for any of the words above.

Emma Davies
Learning Technologist

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