An early introduction to technology can build computer literacy skills

Posted on Friday, 7/5/2013 6:12 PM

The role technology plays in society seems to increase with each passing day. As long as people depend on technology, there will be a need for workers who are passionate about the field of information technology (IT). It is a given that some of today's K-12 students will grow up to fill these roles, which is why it is so important for educators to spark an interest in technology at a young age.

Educators are in a unique position to provide students with an early introduction to technology. This, in turn, has the potential to enhance their computer literacy skills, which can come in handy in their eventual careers.

What is computer literacy?
People's level of computer literacy is determined based on how knowledgeable and comfortable they are when it comes to using computers and related technology. Whereas previous generations may have been able to complete college or have a successful career without ever having to turn on a computer, times have changed.

According to TechRepublic, there are specific skills individuals require to be computer literate in today's world. Knowledge of search engines, computer viruses and word processing are all essential.

Today, many children have an opportunity to acquire these skills early on in their academic career, through the use of tablet computers and student software. This is due in part to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, which are designed to prepare kids for college and the workforce. Beyond that, teachers should know they may also be sparking an interest in technology that develops into a passion for work in technological fields.

Why are computer skills important to IT careers?
Some people may have an interest in becoming a computer programmer or computer systems analyst, but need to develop basic computer skills before they do so. This is where students who have grown up using different types of technology have an advantage over those who did not.

In a time when finding work has become more challenging than ever, being more comfortable with technology may provide students with a competitive advantage when it comes times to apply for IT jobs. Many of these positions are actually doing quite well in the current economy and the years ahead.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer programmer, computer systems analyst and computer support specialist are all expected to experience high job growth through 2020.

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