Select Committee on Digital Skills - Report of Session 2014–15

Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future


Appendix 4: Acronyms and glossary

4G

The ‘G’ in 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G stands for the ‘generation’ of the mobile network. The higher number before the ‘G’ means more power to send out and receive more information. O2 and Vodafone launched their 4G networks in the UK in August 2013. 4G has internet speeds up to five times faster than 3G.

ALT

Association for Learning Technology

App

A mobile ‘app’ (application) is a computer programme designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices.

ATA

Apprenticeship Training Agencies. These are specifically designed to support employers who wish to take on an apprentice but are unable to in the current economic climate. The distinctive feature of this model is that it is the ATA who acts as the apprentice employer and who places them with a host employer. The host employer pays the ATA a fee for the apprentices’ services; this fee being based on the wage agreed with the host and the ATA management fee.

BCS

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

Big Data

Extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions.

BIS

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

CAS

Computing At School

CBI

Confederation of British Industry

CCP

Communications Consumer Panel

CCS

Crown Commercial Service

Cloud computing

The practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.

Clusters

Groups of companies grouped around a particular industry in a specific location or area.

CO

Cabinet Office

Coadec

Coalition for a Digital Economy

CPD

Continuing Professional Development

Cyber risk management

The protection of hard and soft infrastructure. This includes cybercrime, cybersecurity, online security and business and personal risk.

DCLG

Department for Communities & Local Government

DCMS

Department for Culture, Media & Sport

DfE

Department for Education

Digital citizen

Someone with the ability to use digital technology purposefully and confidently to communicate, find information and purchase goods/services. The second band of UKForCE’s categorisation of digital skill levels.

Digital economy

The whole economy has become digitised. As digital is pervasive across most aspects of our lives, so the ‘digital economy’ is becoming synonymous with the national economy.

Digital inclusion

Digital inclusion (or rather, reducing digital exclusion) is about making sure that people have the capability to use the internet and wider technology, and do things that benefit them day to day.

Digital maker

Someone with sufficient skills to build digital technology (typically software development). The fourth band of UKForCE’s categorisation of digital skill levels.

Digital muggle

Someone with no digital skills—digital technology may as well be magic. The first band of UKForCE’s categorisation of digital skill levels.

Digital worker

At the higher end, someone with the ability to evaluate, configure and use complex digital systems. Elementary programming skills such as scripting are often required for these tasks. The third band of UKForCE’s categorisation of digital skill levels.

DSI

Data Science Institute

EU

European Union

EU5

Collectively, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK are sometimes referred to as the ‘EU5’.

FELTAG

Further Education Learning Technology Action Group

Fibre broadband

Fibre broadband (‘fibre’) is seen as the future of broadband. Fibre broadband uses fibre optic cable and is capable of delivering very high-speed internet connections (significantly faster than conventional broadband services).

Gbps

gigabits per second

GDP

gross domestic product

GDS

Government Digital Service. The Government Digital Service is leading the digital transformation of Government, making public services ‘digital by default’, and simpler, clearer and faster to use.

GMG

Guardian Media Group

GVA

gross value added

Hackathon

A hackathon is an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.

Hard infrastructure

The physical equipment, pipes and cables necessary to run the digital economy. This includes broadband coverage, broadband speeds, mobile phone coverage and mobile phone functionality (4G/5G).

HMT

Her Majesty’s Treasury

HO

Home Office

HPC

high performance computing

ICT

information and communications technology

IET

Institution of Engineering and Technology

iOS

An operating system used for devices manufactured by Apple—for example, iPhones and iPads.

IPO

Intellectual Property Office

IT

information technology

ITT

Initial Teacher Training

ITTE

Association of Information Technology in Teacher Education

KTN

Knowledge Transfer Network

LEP

Local Enterprise Partnership

LSE

London School of Economics

Malware

Software that is specifically designed to disrupt or damage a computer system.

Mbps

megabits per second

MCA

Management Consultancies Association

MOOC

Massive Open Online Course. A MOOC is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the internet. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for learners.

NAO

National Audit Office

NCTL

National College for Teaching and Leadership

NIACE

National Institute of Adult Continuing Education

NIESR

National Institute of Economic and Social Research

NMI

NMI Systems & Software Leaders Network

Not-spots

Not-spots (also known as ‘white areas’ or ‘white spots’) indicate regions where there is no broadband infrastructure and where no such infrastructure is likely to be developed in the near future (taken to mean three years).

OCR

Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations

OECD

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

OGD

Open Government Data

ONS

Office for National Statistics

Patent Box

The Patent Box enables companies to apply a lower rate of Corporation Tax to profits earned after 1 April 2013 from its patented inventions.

R&D

research and development

RCUK

Research Councils UK

REC

Recruitment & Employment Confederation

RSE

Royal Society of Edinburgh

SMEs

small and medium-sized enterprises

SOC

Standard Occupation Code

Soft infrastructure

Developing a population and workforce with the abilities and skills to use the hard infrastructure. Other definitions of soft infrastructure include, for example, intellectual property rights, but these are not within the scope of our inquiry.

STEAM

science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics

STEAMED

science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics, entrepreneurship and design

STEM

science, technology, engineering and mathematics

STEMNET

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network

STFC

Science and Technology Facilities Council

Superfast broadband

Superfast (or ‘next generation’) broadband is generally taken to mean broadband products that provide a maximum download speed that is greater than 24Mbps. This threshold is commonly considered to be the maximum speed that can be supported on current generation (copper-based) networks.

UKForCE

UK Forum for Computing Education

Ukie

Association for UK Interactive Entertainment

UKTI

UK Trade & Investment

UTC

University Technical College

WEF

World Economic Forum