It’s safe to say that computers are nearly everywhere in our society. You find them in schools, cars, airports, shopping centers, toys, phones, medical devices, and homes, and in many people’s pockets. You interact with computers almost every day, sometimes without even knowing it. Whenever you buy something with a credit card or withdraw money with an ATM card, you interact with a computer. And, of course, most of us can’t imagine our lives without e-mail. And even if you don’t yet have a computer and don’t feel comfortable using one, you still feel the impact of technology: Countless ads for computers, cell phones, digital cameras, and Web sites surround us each day. We’re constantly reminded of the ways in which computers, the internet, and technology are integral parts of our lives.
So, just by being a member of our society, you already know quite a bit about computers. But is it important to learn more about computers, becoming what is called computer literate? Being computer literate means being familiar enough with computers that you understand their capabilities and limitations, and you know how to use them. Being computer literate means more than just knowing about the parts of your computers. The following are some other benefits:
As a computer literate individual, you can use your computer more wisely and be a more knowledgeable user.
Computer-literate employees are sought after in almost every vocation.
Becoming computer literate will help you better understanding and take advantage of future technologies.
In addition, understanding computers and their ethical, legal, and societal implications will make you a more active and aware participant in society.
Anyone can become computer literate no matter what your degree of technical expertise. Being computer literate doesn’t mean you need to know enough to program a computer or build one yourself. With a car, for example, you should know enough about it to take care of it and use it effectively, but that doesn’t mean you have to know how to build one. You should try to achieve the same familiarity with computers.
Ousman Faal [Digital Vigilante] is a Tech Entrepreneur & Digital Skills Trainer who teaches both in the classroom and online. He has experience in various technologies and likes sharing it with others. Ousman has published 144 articles on this blog. He is the CEO of Faalen Technologies and Skills.gm.