How digitally literate are our children?

Thursday, June 16th, 2011 | education, ICT in Africa

In an web article Are children becoming ‘digitally illiterate’? author Alex Hudson laments the fact that learners in the UK can’t write computer programs!  He said:

As computers become ever more complicated, there are concerns that schools and universities are not teaching the basic programming skills that underpin some of Britain’s most successful industries.

What are learners taught in schools in the UK?  The article states:

[Children] learn about Word and Powerpoint and Excel. They learn how to use the applications but don’t have the skills to make them, …

It’s the difference between reading and writing. We’re teaching them how to read, we’re not teaching them how to write.

The narrowness of how we teach children about computers risks creating a generation of digital illiterates.

Well! This concern gives some food for thought for us in South Africa.

If the guys in the UK are concerned about the fact that their learners are digitally illiterate if they “only” know basic computer applications, where does this leave our children, who do not even have access to technology?  How will we be able to compete globally if our children don’t even have an opportunity to learn the basic skills, which are taken for granted in the rest of the world?

We still have a long way to go to ensure digital literacy for our children!

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1 Comment to How digitally literate are our children?

Mariaan Bester
Monday, 27 June, 2011

I have the same concern regarding social networks. In schools we ban facebook and warn learners about the dangers of mixit, but is this responsible? Learners are expelled from school for postings on facebook, but nobody ever tell them the difference between freedom of speech and slander

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