Shape of things to come

Kids can’t use computers…

‘So what do you teach?’
‘Computing’ I replied.
‘Oh… I guess these days you must find that the kids know more about computers than the teachers….’

As an educator and support technician, Marc Scott knows first-hand that this is simply not the case.

The truth is, kids can’t use general purpose computers, and neither can most of the adults I know.

Not really knowing how to use a computer is deemed acceptable if you’re twenty-five or over. It’s something that some people are even perversely proud of, but the prevailing wisdom is that all under eighteens are technical wizards, and this is simply not true. They know how to use Facebook and Twitter. They even know how to use Word and PowerPoint and Excel. Ask them to reinstall an operating system and they’re lost. Ask them to upgrade their hard-drive or their RAM and they break out in a cold sweat. Ask them what https means and why it is important and they’ll look at you as if you’re speaking Klingon.

It’s a long and entertaining rant, raising a great point: We should be teaching kids not to install malware, rather than locking down machines so that it’s physically impossible. We should be teaching kids to stay safe on-line rather than filtering their internet.

I particularly liked Marc’s suggestion to ask policy makers the following question in order to gauge their tech savvy (or lack thereof):

Without reference to Wikipedia, can you tell me what the difference is between The Internet, The World Wide Web, a web-browser and a search engine?
Kids Can’t Use Computers… And Why It Should Worry You

(via @HelReynolds / @Nonentity)


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