Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Computer Illiteracy :: Computer Illiteracy

Society is currently in a period of rapid technological change. Computers are becoming a household item as well as a highly advanced tool for most every workplace. The entire world is interlinked through the Internet and information is being transferred across the globe in a matter of seconds. Computers are getting smaller and quicker and the amount of information they can store is getting larger. In this information society that we are becoming, a new advanced form of literacy threatens to debilitate anyone who refuses to step into the computer age. Computer illiteracy endangers not only the individual but our nation’s economy. Whether you like it or not, computers are the new language and those who refuse to accept this will be left in the dust . Computer illiteracy must be addressed now or there will be a whole new population of specialized illiterates in America. There is no doubt that computers are firmly implanted in our nation’s daily existence. Everyday I use a computer at least once, either writing a paper, surfing the Internet or checking my e-mail. On a recent trip to the library to do research I was quickly escorted by a librarian to the variety of computer databases, which are the fastest and most current source of information I found a survey in Statistical Abstracts of the United States comparing students use of computers in kindergarten through college from 1984 to 1993. A total of 27.3% of students used computers in schools in 1984, while a total of 59.0% used computers in 1993. This shows a steady rise in scholastic computer use and these figures are probably greatly inflated by now in 1997. Sadly, many people refuse to face the onslaught of computer technology. A 1994 survey conducted by Dell Computers indicated the 55% of Americans are phobic or resistant to computers (Column). In addition, many important people, including CEOÕs of major companies, are rumored to be computer illiterate (Column). The former CEO of IBM even admitted to never using a computer (Column). Fortunately, PC’s are becoming more and more user friendly as the technology improves. Fewer errors, less maintenance and quicker functioning should encourage many reluctant people to finally step into the new era. Computer literacy requires that an individual be able to word process and have a basic knowledge of CD-Roms, database and the Internet. These are the basic objectives of computer literacy, just as composition may be the objective of regular literacy.

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