In information technology, hardware is the physical aspect of computers, telecommunications, and other devices. The term arose as a way to distinguish the “box” and the electronic circuitry and components of a computer from the program you put in it to make it do things. The program came to be known as the software.
Software can be thought of as the variable part of a computer and hardware the invariable part. Software is often divided into two;
- Application software (programs that do work users are directly interested in).
- System software (which includes operating systems and any program that supports application software).
Firmware is a software program permanently etched into a hardware device such as a keyboards, hard drive, BIOS, or video cards. It is programmed to give permanent instructions to communicate with other devices and perform functions like basic input/output tasks. Firmware is typically stored in the flash ROM (read only memory) of a hardware device. It can be erased and rewritten.
Firmware was originally designed for high level software and could be changed without having to exchange the hardware for a newer device. Firmware also retains the basic instructions for hardware devices that make them operative. Without firmware, a hardware device would be non-functional.
As the name implies, multimedia is the integration of multiple forms of media. This includes text, graphics, audio, video, etc.
For example, a presentation involving audio and video clips would be considered a “multimedia presentation.” Educational software that involves animations, sound, and text is called “multimedia software.” CDs and DVDs are often considered to be “multimedia formats” since they can store a lot of data and most forms of multimedia require a lot of disk space.
Literacy with Information and Communication Technology (LwICT) means thinking critically and creatively, about information and about communication, as citizens of the global community, while using ICT responsibly and ethically.
This representation shows the relationship between ICT literacy (i.e., demonstrating ICT skills) and literacy with ICT (i.e., thinking critically and creatively, about information and communication, as citizens of the global community, while using ICT responsibly and ethically). ICT literacy is a critical component of literacy with ICT, but it is not sufficient in itself.
Digital competence consists not only of digital skills but also social and emotional aspects for using and understanding digital devices.