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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Life-Long Computer Skills

Jakob Nielsen writing in his weekly AlertBox has a timely post this week suggesting the life-long learning concepts that should be taught in schools.

There is some value in teaching kids skills they can apply immediately, while they're still in school, but there's more value in teaching them deeper concepts that will benefit them forever, regardless of changes in specific applications.

Teaching life-long computer skills in our schools offers further benefit in that it gives students insights that they're unlikely to pick up on their own. In contrast, as software gets steadily easier to use, anyone will be able to figure out how to draw a pie chart. People will learn how to use features on their own, when they need them -- and thus have the motivation to hunt for them. It's the conceptual things that get endlessly deferred without the impetus of formal education.

What skills does Jakob suggest? Good ones, that adults can use as well. Skills like: Search strategies, information credibility, and information overload. There are more. I encourage you to click through and read his full AlertBox.

If you are interested, I would also encourage you to subscribe to the AlertBox to directly receive Jakob's weekly insights.

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Comments on "Life-Long Computer Skills"


Anonymous Blaine Collins said ... (12:54 AM) : 

Nice lead Steve. You've done it again!

Search strategy, writing for online audiences... good stuff.

Accessing information creditability may be the single most important skill to teach. Back in the day, I was taught to go to USNewsWorldReports or Time or Newsweek, but to be leery of what might be in People. Online media is a whole new deal.


Blogger Steve Sherlock said ... (6:37 AM) : 

Thanks, Blaine. The circumstances have indeed changed. Now, I think we will need to focus the debate on not 'whether you should' use wikipedia but 'how to use' wikipedia, that is, checking out the history pages, following some links to confirm the info.. as opposed to simply saying it came from here so it is "gospel".


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