What is computer illiteracy and how to treat it?


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I am sure everyone has heard (or maybe said it themselves) someone utter the phrase computer illiteracy at some time.  Usually, it is someone who is older that simply was not exposed to computers until recently.  The term has been around since the 1970’s.  It is a much more important term in today’s world.  As computers become a bigger part of our lives, we need more and more skill to stay computer illiterate or we find life becoming harder than it needs to be.

Computer Literacy

What is computer illiteracy?

To understand the term computer illiteracy, you have to understand what it means to be computer literate.  Computer literacy is being able to complete tasks on a computer without assistance.  Being able to understand the basic functions of software.  As well as how to solve common problems when they arise.

Various degrees of computer illiteracy

Even most beginners can figure out how to turn on a computer.  They understand from watching others how a mouse and keyboard work.  They may even know how to use a word processor.  Anything above that and they get lost.  People with moderate computer literacy may understand a few programs commonly used at work.  They may understand the basics of things like a virus.  But they are lacking in skills that are still basic.  For example, they may not understand how to install software of use hot keys.  An expert can handle most problems and are capable of using commonly available software.  Even most experts in one area are lacking in knowledge of other basic skills.

Why it matters

There really is not a question anymore about the role computers will play in our lives.  They have rapidly taken over and it will only get worse.  Basic computer skills are no longer an option, they are mandatory.  You use them for school, work and even in our personal lives.  We shop with them, we communicate with them.

In today’s modern world, you can no longer walk into a department store and pick up a job application.  You have to go to the website.  We do not order merchandise from a catalog anymore, we buy it online.  When it comes to just about any type of employment at nearly any level, you will probably be using a computer for at least part of the day.  Anything from writing reports, sending emails or tracking inventory everything in the workplace now requires computer skills.

How do we fix it

Fortunately, many options are out there to fight this problem.  Books are sold that are made for any skill level.  Classes are available at local colleges to give not only basic training, but in depth training of certain programs.  And of course, the computer itself can teach us.  The Internet offers a wide variety of free and paid training in various formats.  From eBooks to online tutorials, you can find something that seems custom made for you.  Like everything else, practice makes perfect.  The more you use a computer the more skills you will develop.  In time, you will no longer consider yourself computer illiterate.

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