The use of computers has become an integral part of our lives.
Slowly, we have evolved from having just the elementary knowledge of what a computer is to practical usage of the valuable components of a computer from basic programming to advanced problem-solving.
What is Computer Literacy?
The phrase “computer literacy” can be dated as far back as the early 1960s and is associated with the Dartmouth College physicist, Arthur Luehrmann.
After the introduction of basic programming language in 1964 by his colleagues Kemeny and Kurtz, the desire burned in Luehrmann to pioneer the movement for using computers in teaching. That was where the evolution broke out from.
Computer literacy in simple terms, can be defined as the knowledge and ability to use computers and related technologies efficiently.
Some authorities refer to computer literacy as the level of expertise you have to use computers efficiently in performing tasks such as operating common software systems, platforms and computer programs.
It may seem as though the world has been digitalised and in every corner you look, you are sure to find a tech-savvy. Things may not be exactly what they seem.
Recent research, as determined by The World Economic Forum found that the OECD countries are not as computer literate as one would expect with over 25% of individuals who do not know how to use a computer, about 45% who have very little knowledge, and only 30% rate as moderately to strongly computer literate.
While this statistic may seem a little hard to believe, several factors have been attributed to it.
Here are the challenges that have stood in the way of computer literacy.
- Limited access to technology: The first step to computer literacy is access to a computer and a good internet. Many individuals do not have this, especially those in rural or economically disadvantaged areas making it difficult for any form of advancement.
- Lack of Insufficient training: A lot of people have little or no formal education on what a computer is and how to use it, leaving them with no prior foundation to build their computer literacy on.
- The intricacy of technology: The constant evolution of technology, applications and tools can sometimes be a lot for people to catch up with. This has also caused a strain on computer literacy.
- Digital divide: There is already a huge gap between those who are exposed to and can access technology and those who cannot. The wider the gap, the more difficult it becomes to attain global computer literacy.
- Lack of confidence: A lot of individuals lack the confidence to operate a computer because they are afraid of making mistakes. This has led them to make no effort at all to become computer literate.
Ways to manage these challenges
- Get acquainted with how computers and the internet work.
- If you already know how a computer works, Identify what next you need to learn.
- Take computer courses either online or in person.
- Apply the knowledge and get hands-on practice.
- Keep up with changes in technology
It is important to note that age is not a barrier to computer literacy and shouldn’t be a challenge.
You are neither too young nor too old to become digitally inclined.
All you need do is to decide to become computer literate and back it up with the actions listed above.
Don’t let the world leave you behind.