Computer usage and technology is becoming widespread in all areas of play and work. Therefore, students at schools should have knowledge or else be taught at least something about computers. The current Y generation, as they are generally called lives in an era of Information Technology (IT), and everything else revolve around computers ranging from entertainment areas, work places and even at home. Thus, this situation raises the question of whether every student has to be taught a common course on computer science, so that he/she after education fits well in the corporate world (Proulx).
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In this new information era, this paper is going to argue out why basic computer science or rather literate use of computers is vital and should be incorporated into the curriculum of this institution as a compulsory common course to all students to undertake it and ensure that no students graduate without passing this course. The course will be Introduction for Computer Applications: Being fluent with Information Technology. This course will be aimed at teaching students who are majoring in other subjects apart from computer science like arts, sciences, engineering, and business studies about databases, e-commerce and accounting, data analysis (SPSS), artificial intelligence, and network security, amongst other basic fields in computer science. This course will not have the objective of making them computer experts, but it is all aimed at making them computer literate and aware, since this is the digital age. If one needs a better productivity in the economy and effectiveness in working areas, he or she has to embrace technology and the only thing to go about this is ensuring that everyone is computer literature (Proulx).
Computational thinking has become a fundamental skill that should be instilled to everyone, and should certainly be included in basic literacy definition of knowing how to read, write, and arithmetic to capture the understanding of computer processes.
Many people will argue out that introducing computing as a basic course in the institution would drain out resources, as it is seen as an expensive undertaking, but certainly these costs would decrease, if IT personnel and maintenance costs are eliminated, since these duties would be shifted to each and every student, and when repairs come up, they be would be handled by the vendor. Much finances have been invested in coming up with computer labs which are underutilized, as few students make use of them, but with an introduction of this course, these computer facilities will be fully utilized. This venture is also cost effective, as students will access laptops which have excellent warranties and low cost insurances; and certainly buying of laptops by students is a strong investment and is of an immense use in this research and development era (Stager).
Laptops will not entirely replace textbooks, but with computing knowledge, students will be able to access the online learning materials, and this will reduce the expenditure on textbooks which has been a main challenge in education, as generally, textbooks are expensive. Thus, students will learn from a wider variety of sources and this would enable them develop critical and essential literacy skills by having the exposure to multiple perspectives and evidence of literature material.
This course will definitely increasing the overall computing literacy in the institution, and this will make students venture into buying student laptops, as many electronic companies offer students with laptops at low costs and full warrants. These laptops offer a potential breakthrough for students to undertake, and apply computing in other educational and real work fields like in scientific, filmmaking, engineering and authoring fields.
Everyone is interested to have the knowledge on how a computer works; this interest will keep students at school, or else keep their attendance rates high, thus, reducing the checkout of students, due to unnecessary issues. Learning environment that is computationally rich in computing knowledge will highly offer all students unparalleled opportunities to show case of their intellectual creativity and competences. This phenomenon will increase the students’ productivity in the learning community and reduce their inefficiency. Also, students will get chances in apprenticing with their teachers, who are also expounding and learning new computing technologies (Stager).
Computer fluency and literacy of students shifts from being seen as mere consumers to producers of creativity forms and knowledge expressions, which could be widely applied to educational fields. Students’ creativity forms can be helpful in contributing artifacts and ideas to the technological and digital world, which can be much useful and admirable.
Computer literacy will increase the students’ quality and quantity of writing skills. Peer-editing will become a commonplace for students, and they will be liable for coming up with several publications yearly suitable for public distribution via the World Wide Web, audio, video or print formats. Writing will be considered as an avenue of sharing and distributing knowledge together with passing out stories and information to different audiences, and will be considered less on exercise (Stager).
Information technology has revolutionized every corner and aspect of life, and society and incorporating computing skills in the learning system would certainly increase the scope of fundamental changes in society. Many students do not even know how to present their work in forms like PowerPoint presentations, use of electronic spreadsheets, or even presenting assignments in written formats like in MS Word. Most of my people do not even know how to compute electronically balance sheets and data analysis; it is always a nightmare when the teacher gives assignments to be done using the computer. All this emanates from computer illiteracy and can only be curbed by ensuring that every student is taught basic computer science; that is why the proposed course is of the sheer importance to all students.
Integrating technology into the curriculum makes teaching and learning an enjoyable activity by both students and teachers. Computing or rather teaching basic computer science reduces prevailing excuses on the lack of computer use, and this gives definitive reflects that incorporation of computers in education is not a crazy idea, after all. Incorporation of basic computer science in to the curriculum will entirely change the school nature of the institution. If the institution does not remain viable, it will not respond to the emerging cloud of technology worldwide and all the forces caused by social pressures. For instance, introduction of general computer knowledge to students will bring an immense awakening across the school community, as many will now see it viable now to purchase and use laptops in the learning process. This will provide a strong platform for starting the overall reinvention of teaching, school structures, assessment and curriculum of the school. Therefore, students will be able to read from anywhere, be it at home or in the playground and access to learning material whenever they are in need of it (Stager).
Computer technology is termed as challenging by most students, majorly those who are not majoring in that field. For instance, at Carnegie Mellon institution, students who do not pursue computer science majors are told to undertake the course entitled Principles of Computation, but the subject tutor reports that students perceive the subject as challenging (Stross).
Computer literacy increases students’ dependency on technological tools and computers to solve their learning issues. Students who entirely depend on computers in doing all school work activities find themselves experiencing difficulties in writing by hand and even spelling. Therefore, teachers should ensure that students do not depend entirely on technological techniques and tools to solve class work without their consent (Schreiner).
Varied computer literacy is another main challenge in this course, as there are students with prior experience of computer technology, while others do not. Therefore, this poses difficultness to teachers while teaching, but they have to adopt strategies on how to assist the inexperienced students, at the same time avoiding slowing down the capable ones in their academic progress. Technological literacy is also known to enhance students’ academic dishonesty. For instance, students may decide to copy-paste information from the web into their assignment of which this will be termed as plagiarism and such a wrong act can even lead to lawsuits, as the main part of information in the web is copyright protected. In this course, students need to be warned against such perpetuating acts (Schreiner).
Computer literacy is also known to expose students to potential dangers like falling victims of cyber-bullying, internet predators or even accessing to restricted sites, since most of web sites are free to access. This could lead to moral erosion in the institution, but teachers should remain vigilant and monitor students’ internet activities, and also warn them against such activities (Schreiner).
Technological literacy or rather computer knowledge is of importance in the current ICT era, thus, everyone must try and be computer literate. Many jobs in the corporate world are centered on technology; therefore, introduction of basic computer course in the institution will ensure that it produces computer competent and efficient students to the society who will help in uplifting its productivity. As seen from above arguments, it is certainly clear that introducing a basic computer course is more beneficial to students and will assist in extending the technological literacy throughout the society.
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