Do you need some computer terms for kids? Following are two lists of the terms children need to know about computers. The first list includes computer definitions for students related to working on a computer. The other provides terms for the physical parts of a computer.
Computer Terms for Children
Key Computer Terms for Children to Know
A glossary of basic computer terminology helps kids use computers and talk about using them.
backup - an extra copy of a file, document or all data stored on a computer
browser - a program you use to browse files; web browsers like Firefox, Chrome or Edge will browse internet files.
caret or insertion point - that small blinking line that shows you where your next typed letter or number will go
computer virus - software that was written to do bad stuff to your computer
cursor - a small arrow on the screen that moves when you move the mouse and is used to make a selection
data - any information stored by a computer; for example: files, emails, apps, video games, songs, and pictures
desktop - screen that appears if you are not browsing the Internet, reading a file or playing a game; your icons are on this screen
download - process where you copy something from another computer or the internet, and save it on your computer
drag and drop - when you click on something and hold the mouse button down, it moves the object you clicked on and leaves it where you let go of the button (it drags it and drops it)
ecommerce - shopping and buying things online
email - a way to send a message from one computer to another
FAQ - an abbreviation for frequently asked questions
graphic - a picture or an image
homepage - first page you see when you open your browser (You can make any page your homepage.)
icon - a small symbol or picture that represents a program or other things
internet - many computers connected like a web so you can see what other computer operators show you and you can show them things
log on - how you get access to a computer by typing in your username and password
malware - malicious code that cyber criminals launch to try to damage other people’s computers
memory - where a computer stores data; temporary memory, called random access memory and permanent memory, which is called read only memory (ROM)
password - a secret code to protect your data and can keep others from accessing your computer
phishing - an email scam that dishonest people use to try to get you to reveal your passwords or other information they could use to hack into your private information
right click - when you push on the right-hand button on a two-button mouse; it gives you a menu of options
screensaver - a picture that pops up when you are not using your computer
shortcut - an icon is a shortcut to a file or program.
social networking sites - websites that allow people to connect and communicate with other people; examples are: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat
software - all the instructions for the computer or a program designed to do different things; Microsoft Word and Windows 10 are examples of software programs
spam - computer abbreviation for "sending particularly annoying messages"; unwanted email.
taskbar - bar on your computer that shows what programs are open
URL - address of documents and resources on the internet
user - anyone using a computer
wallpaper - picture or design on your desktop for decoration
World Wide Web (www) - a group of internet servers linking computers around the world
Definitions for Physical Parts of a Computer
This list of computer terms for children covers the hardware associated with computers.
computer - electronic machine that can store and process data; it has hardware, which is the machine itself, and software, which is a set of instructions
desktop - a full-size computer, with a central processing unit (CPU) connected to a monitor
external hard drive - a device that acts like a computer hard drive without being installed in the computer; plugs into a computer via a port and you can copy files to it
keyboard - where all the letters, numbers and other buttons are located; when you type on it, the symbols appear on the monitor
laptop - small portable computer
microphone - allows you to talk to others through your computer, assuming you are connected to them via a communication app
modem - a device that allows a computer to connect to the intranet
monitor - screen that shows you what you are doing; a viewer that displays what the computer sends to it
mouse - a little device you move with your hand, which then moves the cursor on the screen
peripheral - an accessory that you use with your computer; not part of the computer itself, but it connects to the computer via a cable or wireless access; for example: printers and scanners
printer - device that prints out data sent from the computer onto paper
router - networking that allows computers to send and receive data via networks
scanner - device that scans something that is flat and sends the image to the computer
speakers - devices that the sounds come out of; they are sometimes built into the monitor
touchpad - an area on a laptop that substitutes for a mouse; you move your finger around on it to move the cursor
trackpad - another term for touchpad; part of a laptop that functions as a mouse would function; you control the cursor on the screen by moving your finger on the device
Mastering Computer Definitions for Students
Kids will use computers throughout their academic careers, so it’s never too early for children to start building their vocabulary of computer terminology. Knowing the right words to use to describe various computer components and discuss how to use computer equipment prepares kids to use information technology at home and at school. Practical vocabulary games for kids provide a great way for kids to continue strengthening their language and communication skills.