There are many trading instruments available and a variety of brokers. This trend intensified in 2000's during the boom years when resource boom, housing boom, and easily available credit for hedging created an environment for quick and easy way to make money.
Generally, if you buy and sell something, that is considered trading. The time periods can vary, being short, long, or medium term, but it is still trading.
For general info about trading and description of terms used check Trading Dictionary page.
Until recently, conventional brokers were the only way one could trade shares on a stock market. Today, online discount brokers provide easy access to trading shares for low fees. Many of them also offer trading stock options.
Brokers: optionsXpress (link)