Remember the old nursery rhyme, “Monday’s child is full of grace, Tuesday’s child is full of woe, Wednesday’s child was born with a computer on his lap”? Well, that’s not exactly the way it goes, but in today’s world that last part certainly could be true. It almost seems that we’ve added a “computer gene” to the human genome these past few years.
But for those of us who are lacking the gene, which includes some children and most all of us older folks, it can sometimes be hard to function in this computer-driven world. So how do you learn about computers?
Well, you can learn it the hard way by having one delivered to your workplace and after the boss plugs it in tells you “here you go! Send me an email.” This is what happened to me when computers were first installed in the restaurant chain that I worked for. The company got around to giving us all a computer class a few weeks after we struggled to make use of them.
The rest of what I know about computers comes from a friend of mine who is the ultimate computer whiz. Thanks to him, I know all about Linux, Net BSD, viruses, the shortcomings of Microsoft and all the different programming languages, even though I will never use any of that stuff. I must admit it’s interesting though, when I have a clue to what he’s talking about that is. But at least I have someone to call up when the thing crashes.
His 11-year old daughter is very knowledgeable about computers too. She recently got into trouble at school because she used Open Office to write a paper and then mistakenly saved it as a PDF file instead of a Word document. Her teacher was unaware that she could do that. A teacher friend of mine has to use a computer program to grade papers and she laments how much she longs for the “good old days.”
The other thing you could do is take a couple of classes at the local junior college like another friend of mine recently did. Or, maybe you could send away for those Video Professor tutorials that they advertise on late-night TV. but you have to pay for those.
According to the Pandia Post, Europe’s premiere Internet search magazine, how would you like a “one-stop-shop that offers technical know-how for parents and teachers who want to teach internet literacy to young people? The Council of Europe offers an extensive handbook for free.” (http://www.pandia.com/sew/1396-internet-literacy-for-parents.html)
“The handbook is available in HTML and Flash format for free and a printed version is available for EUR 13 (USD $20).
The content is divided into 25 fact sheets on themes such as searching for information, spam, chat, games, creativity, privacy, security, social networking, Web 2.0 and becoming an active e-citizen. Each fact sheet contains a general introduction to the theme, ethical considerations, best practice examples and links to further information.” (Source: http://www.pandia.com/sew/1396-internet-literacy-for-parents.html).