Digital Literacy

A friend of mine, Nate Beran, wrote a blog post titled Digital Literacy and it really hit home for me on a couple of levels. You really should read his post in its entirety, it is really good.

Here is the main gist of the post:

My concept of Digital Literacy is a set of basic skills that enable a user to understand, navigate, and successfully utilize tools regardless of familiarity. Simple things that technologists take for granted. Things like universal shortcut combos, finding standard commands (even knowing what standard commands are in the first place), or how to manipulate data.

Really good, and I agree with a lot of it. I would love for the emphasis to be less and less on  Microsoft Office tools and more and more on what computers do (and can do) along with basic concepts. Get vendor-specific tools out of there and start teaching people how to think (or giving them the option to do so)!

It is funny, though, to think about mobile operating systems and how they have handled this problem. For the most part, they’ve just eliminated the file system completely. How much longer are general consumers even going to need to look at anything that resembles a file system?

Just some more food for thought.

2 replies on “Digital Literacy”

Brothers – I have been teaching and talking this line of reasoning for 20+ years of teaching at schools and colleges. 20 years ago it was AppleWorks and Word Perfect, Lotus 123, etc… there is always some software that everyone needs to know. Hogwash.

Yup, that’s the scary part: there will always be something you need to know. That “something” will not be taught in school, and SHOULD NOT be taught in school. The concepts of computing and the language of computing SHOULD be taught so that a person might be knowledgeable and able to function.

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