Jakob Nielsen on Life-Long Computer Skills

Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox on Lifelong Computer Skills reiterates the idea that education is about learning fundamental concepts rather than how to do specific things in a specific context.

Teaching life-long computer skills in our schools offers further benefit in that it gives students insights that they’re unlikely to pick up on their own. In contrast, as software gets steadily easier to use, anyone will be able to figure out how to draw a pie chart. People will learn how to use features on their own, when they need them — and thus have the motivation to hunt for them. It’s the conceptual things that get endlessly deferred without the impetus of formal education.

He goes on to list Search Strategies, Information Credibility, Information Overload, and sundry other things relating to creating and evaluating online content as the appropriate skills to be taught as the basics of information literacy.

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