Digital terms every e-learner should know

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“I’ll post the URL so you can download the reference.”

“I’ll meet you tonight on any VoIP platform. Drop me a DM when you’re ready.”

“Sign-in to your browser to access GDrive. You can upload and share the assignment on the drive or collaborate on Google docs.”

Do you understand these statements? Conversations like these are now common in everyday life. As an e-learner, you will need to know these terms to participate fully.

Let’s start with the basics to help you get started.

Getting set-up:

Register (online registration)

This is how you sign up for a service, or join an event or group. You will need to go to a webpage, provide personal information like your name and contact details. Depending on the service, event or group you’re joining, you may also need to provide some proof of eligibility, and credit card information if signing-up is not free.


Entering a username or password to enter or gain access to a website, computer system or database.


Opening a link or file means putting the cursor on a file, folder, or link and double-clicking on it using a mouse.


Pointing your cursor on folder, file, or link on the screen using a mouse, then clicking on the left button of the mouse to open the folder, file or link.


Pointing your cursor on any part of the screen or file using a mouse, then clicking on the right button of the mouse to see a list of commands (or a menu).


A list shown on the display of a computer from which a user can select the operation the computer is to perform.


A web or Internet browser is a program that presents and explores content on the World Wide Web. Currently, the most common browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox. Those using Apple computers and devices might prefer Safari. Browsers are software that retrieve and display webpages on the internet.

Instructions to follow:


In general, it means being given the permission to use. It can also mean to acquire information or files from a folder or computer system.

Surf (the net)

To go from one website to another.


Reading and scanning through data. Often done while surfing.


Storing data in your computer or a storage medium (like a hard drive or a flash drive). The “Save” command is usually ctrl + s. You will need to name the file if the file is new. The “Save As” command is used to save another copy of a saved file.


To transfer information from your computer to another computer by using electronic means or through software and apps, for example via email.


To allow others to access information that you have. It can be through a command allowing others to open and download a file, or through a shared network or collaborative software (like Google Drive). On social media, this a command that allows you to make a post visible to your friends (or your network).


To copy information from a computer system (or website) to your computer.


To transfer information from your computer to a computer system or website.

Install (software)

To create, extract or move necessary files to run a computer program.

Link or hyperlink

These are text (usually underlined or in a different colour) that leads to a file or a website when you click on it.

Google (verb)

To Google something means to search for information on the internet (named after the popular search engine – but you already know that!)


On social media, this is a message, composed of text and/or images, published online by a user.

Stream (content)

Refers to data being transmitted to a consumer. Content can be audio, video or games.


Typed text that is received by participants immediately through a platform or app.

Mute/Unmute (verb)

To turn off the sound of a device. Unmuting is turning on the sound.

Copy and paste

This refers to the act of duplicating text, data or images (usually using the command CTRL + C) and moving them to another file, folder or location (usually using the command CTRL + V for “paste”).

Are there commands or digital terms that confuse you? Let us know in the comments below!

Sources: Computer Hope, and Techopedia dictionary. Accessed October 18, 2022.

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