It seems that young people are fluent in computer technologies. They literally live with smartphones, tablets, and laptops in hands, use these devices for entertainment and educational purposes, communicate in social networks, can find any information in search engines like Google, perceive all innovations with interest and master them quickly. Moms and dads of high school students are surprised to see what incredible things their children can do using computers.
At the same time, many teenagers do not have basic skills which may be useful when studying at a university and solving important problems at the workplace. They play dozens of video games but cannot correct an essay using Word tools, post photos on Instagram but do not know the simplest Excel formulas.
Using technologies for fun does not turn students into advanced PC users. Lack of valuable knowledge may hinder their academic activities, become an obstacle on the way to career advancement. We have considered this problem in detail, summarized findings of several kinds of research, distinguished modern trends and ways to correct them.
Computer proficiency of high school students
On the one hand, rapidly developing information society exerts influence on the interests of young people, and it is impossible to tell about their electronic illiteracy. On the other hand, computer skills are not systemized and are often used incorrectly.
As poll results show, most high school students think that they have an average level of computer proficiency. This means they can use MS Office products, such programs as Photoshop and Fine Reader. A very few respondents have advanced skills, i.e. apply programming languages and narrowly specialized applications. There are also young people who can only type text in Word and download files from the Internet.
Of course, representatives of the latter category need intensive training to reach at least an average level and be compatible when entering a higher educational institution or looking for a job. Let’s consider the most demanded computer skills and the ways to gain them.
What computer skills do you need?
Modern education is closely interrelated with technologies. Personal computers stand in most classes. They are used by both teachers and students. The former holds lectures using a multimedia projector. The letter solves tricky tasks much faster than their parents did. A student cannot learn apart from this system. One will have to master most of the material independently. It is not even worth saying that some tests are passed online and academic assignments are sent to professors via e-mail. It will be very difficult to pass exams and get good marks if you cannot do these things.
As for career building, most employers require fluency in MS Office and elementary graphic editors. Your employer will be very surprised to see that you do long division to count economic indicators when all this may be done in Excel. In addition, each enterprise may have a specific set of accounting and managerial programs that a new employee has to master quickly.
You should know how to use the most popular browsers, such as Mozilla, Opera, Google Chrome, to understand how the Windows or Linux operating system works. Your boss may require PowerPoint presentations with quarterly reports, pictures, tables, and even animation effects. Most firms have electronic document management. All contracts and invoices are saved in databases. Communication with customers and partners is maintained online.
How could one increase computer literacy?
It is not a problem if you are a beginner. There are many electronic textbooks, thematic videos on the Internet, so you can eliminate knowledge gaps quickly. If it is difficult for you to select the best sources and study them on your own, it makes sense to attend special computer courses. A teacher will help you gain all the skills which university professors or employers may require.
Additional education is always beneficial. With a certificate of computer course completion, you will have many more chances to find a well-paid job. It is a document that will assure an employer of your competence. It is not obligatory to become a professional developer and create JAVA applications or websites from scratch. But you will not do it without basic tools and knowledge.
It is important to choose a training center and a specific course attentively. There are many institutions offering their services. You should understand well what exactly you need, what level you want to reach, how much time and money you are ready to spend. Collect information on teaching methods, lecturers’ background, availability of license.
You may start with the simplest courses acquainting students with basic programs. You may like to lean, decide to attend more advanced lectures, seminars and even become a professional coder.
In any case, the knowledge gained will help you feel more confident, use a computer efficiently. Young people able to work in office programs become more and more demanded every day. And this trend will only grow.
Even in high school, computer literacy will help you solve many important tasks, simplify the learning process. For example, you will be able to order an essay editing by professional paper writers in applications highlighting mistakes, find information on any topic on the web and not spend long hours in a library. The time for preparing homework will be reduced greatly. So do not lose time and improve your computer skills right now!