"Computer literacy is the knowledge and ability to use computers and technology efficiently. The pervasiveness of computers is continuing to grow at an outstanding rate. As companies become ever more dependent on technology, the value a potential employee has may be measured in terms of his or her technological competency. The highest goal of a computer-literate person is to be able to learn and use new computer programs without large amounts of help. Computer literacy gives people of all ages an edge in both their careers and education." -TechFluency.org
Computers are an integral part of today's society. As technology becomes more easily accessible around the world, so does its influence in our everyday lives. Being able to interact confidently and securely with computers is no longer a privilege but a necessity.
Giving students an edge on understanding, interpreting, and implementing computer knowledge can increase their success in their future careers. Employers often take into account one's ability to work with computers, and this skill is a critical point when one is applying for a job.
"In most places of business, a computer is standard. In the bank they use computers to look up your account information. They use computers in the auto repair shop to assess your car. You can't find books in the library by looking in a card catalog — you must use a computerized database. Doctors' offices utilize computers to store patient information. The point is this — no matter where you find employment, there is a good chance a computer will be a basic tool you will have to use." -Careerplanning.About.com
"'No other subject will open as many doors in the 21st century as computer science, so it is disappointing that neither the science framework nor the mathematics core standards make room for computer science in the K-12 curriculum,' Della Cronin, a representative for Computing in the Core, said in the press release.
Computing in the Core's members include, among others, Google, Microsoft, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Computer Science Teachers Association, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the National Science Teachers Association." -blogs.edweek.org
Computer literacy is the ability to use computers and programs and the familiarity with basic tasks and functions.
Computer literacy can be easily achieved. Just as one learns a new language or how to ride a bike, computer literacy is attained through exposure. However this exposure must be supervised. Students, under the supervision of teachers, are able to practice and experiment safely. Assessing students' capabilities prior to initiating a computer literacy course will allow for the class to be structured around the average students' skill level.
Courses can be as simple as exploring computers, their functions, and their benefits. This site has an online example of a computer literacy course, complete with standards, goals and prerequisites. Courses are very simple and easy to establish. Courses such as the one above, and other similar basic computer skills courses, lay the groundwork for students to become familiar with computers and their functions.
Computers are becoming commonplace in the learning environment as well.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics,
1. ~100% of public schools had one or more instructional computers with internet access
2. 91% of computers in schools were used for instructional purposes
3. 69% of schools had wireless access to some or all of the school
4. 87% of schools used the internet to provide standardized test results to teachers
"In too many schools, teachers and students still use computers only as the equivalent of expensive flash cards, electronic worksheets, or as little more than a typewriter. The productivity side of computer use in the general content area curriculum is neglected or grossly underdeveloped (Moursund, 1995)." -SearchERIC.org