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I can often hear that kids should be taught digital literacy at school, that is, fundamental skills that every computer user should know. But they rarely talk about what these skills are, and to be honest it's a hard question to answer. So what do you think, what are the skills that should be considered "digital literacy?"


It's pretty hard for technology minded people to gauge what literacy even looks like just because it's so built up on expectations. You can learn a lot about digital literacy by studying user experience or UI design, where one of the most crucial features of any of this is meeting expectations. The difference between a clean, comfy program that you immediately know how to use and an overly user friendly nightmarescape is simply how well it matches the vague rules that you've established from years of computer use. We assume that there's a button we can hit to bring up an options menu, we assume that the bars at the top of programs will have dropdown options, we assume that left clicking selects and that right clicking opens option menus, things like that. There's no real hard reasons why any of these "rules" are like they are other than that it matches our expectations from years of use.


They should teach POSIX shell syntax, along with optionally dos/whatever powershell emulates.


I think that the most fundamental skill for digital literacy lies in #1 rule of any safety or operating instruction - read the manual. Doing so often solves a lot of problems and is actually a good habit in general. It is often underrepresented for some reason.


Basic skills like proper typing, comfort with computers (you can use games for this), basic info awareness (social engineering awareness, how to use social media with opsec). No need to have everyone script, but everyone should know what scripting is.


it should include learning how to type on a full sized keyboard, the basics of computer hardware in general and perhaps later on they learn about the basics of operating systems and software

privacy is also a major issue these days, but its unrealistic to think you can convince every successive generation to avoid social media


Typing, using office suite software, learning how to use a web browser(you'd be surprised how many people don't know what a URL bar is. They just use google. Slepinir browser defaults to only a search bar instead of a URL bar.), identify things like when HTTPS is on a website, and learning basic security tips to ensure you don't get malware on your PC.


We dont need just education, we need to reform society. You cant both have technologicaly literate people and 1984 machines like smarthphones


basics of how the internet works, how networks work, how to build small networks for personal use.

somehow the topic of IP cams just popped into my head, and I began feeling sad for all the ignorant people out there who seem to not realize that anyone can see their house whenever they feel like it.

that seems a wise and worrying part of this. there are corps who benefit from digital ignorance, and they sometimes seem to be the corps that are also involved in educating people about how to use computers. thats like mcdonalds teaching people about nutrition.


i think some kind of "digital home economics" would be sufficient. basic networking concepts, parts of a computer, intro to asymmetric crypto (how it works from a user's perspective, no math), generalized troubleshooting techniques, use of some common programs, take them through the settings menus of a couple different OS and tell them what everything does. i had an optional "technology" class in high school that covered everything from powerpoint to disk defragmentation. none of it was news to me, but it seemed pretty well designed for others. i think teaching kids to be able to read arbitrary code and get a rough feel for what's going on would be tremendously useful, but i really don't know how you'd do that. maybe get them to write some javascript for a website? that way you'd be able to knock out html/css plus some browser security and networking stuff in the same class.


>introduction to positional systems, learn to translate from binary to hexadecimal to decimal on paper
>typing exercises on topre keyboards
>using vim
>drawing circles in gimp
>image compression algorithms
>shell scripting and posix sockets
>running emacs as pid=1
>hardware architectures and introduction to basic I/O and drivers
>introduction to cryptography with math examples
>introduction to networking, understanding of TCP/IP, physical and software protocols
>concept of firewalls,mandatory access control and intrusion detection systems
>structure and implementation of computer programs
This soykaf is timeless. All your "how to use browser and microsoft word" rtfm-like tutorials for retards won't be viable in 5-years lifespan.


95% of jobs out there use none of these.


Sad to say it, but this is right.


Perhaps because it's a self-reinforcing pattern?
"Guy doesn't care about security, so doesn't learn more so that he'd further care".

Also, there are things which have a high cost and zero ROI unless they're used, at which point they instantly gain massive ROI. Examples would include Fire Alarms and Extinguishers with fires, and various types of savviness for phishing..


while this stuff is perhaps more timeless than 'how to use https in google chrome version xxx', its also in many instances not really relevant to the average user. most people are not going to learn the details of how to properly use various plumber's instruments; they dont have the interest, the desire, or the reoccurring need to be able to use them. but perhaps there is a way to teach them the basics of how drains and pipes work so they can not cause problems in their plumbing, and, if interested, can make an effort to crudely diagnose issues when they occur, and then proceed to their reading of the manual to figure out the specifics of how to actually fix it.

in the case that you arent one for analogs, what matters is a solid, albeit general, sense of how things fit together, general enough that it will apply essentially the same in 5 or 10 years as it does today, clear and specific enough to actually understand and apply.

The vast majority of people will never use vim or emacs. but a great many people will use computer networks, and might stand to benefit from understanding a few solid principals of network security and architecture.


'digital literacy' isn't(shouldn't be?) about having marketable skills.

At any rate it'd be better for schools to focus on metacognition particularly in terms of having situational awareness about your skills. Everything else you can learn on you own.

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