Back when the Internet was first being rolled out, learning computer skills was something optional; an added value that wasn’t absolutely necessary for academic or professional success. More than twenty years later, computer literacy skills are now an absolute necessity for every student not only because the skills themselves are essential, but also because learning how to communicate via digital technology is vital.
Why do students need to learn to communicate with computers?
Digital technology skills are now part of basic literacy skills and in order to be academically successful, students must learn how to utilize the tools effectively and accurately. This means that students need to be able to type, manage productivity software (e.g. email, word processing, spreadsheets and presentation decks), conduct research and evaluate sources, and navigate the Internet efficiently. Without basic computer literacy skills, students will not be prepared for the future.
Computer literacy has been linked to improved student performance not only in things like attendance and classroom behavior, but students who utilize computer technology also tend to do better at solving grammar, math and logic challenges. For many students, computer programming offers yet another way to improve academic performance, as they are able to actively participate in the creative process and quickly see the results of their efforts.
In survey after survey, the two essential skills employers seek are: effective communication and logical problem solving. Proficiency in computer-based communications is essential for every single profession that students might want to enter, and the earlier students gain the skills they need to succeed, the better. Learning to code and build robots both offer students an opportunity to develop and practice the skills they will need in order to succeed in the 21st century workforce.
While the need to gain computer skills may seem dire, the best part of this is that it has never been easier to get students involved in the process and on the track to digital literacy!