Lifelong computer skills

By Murray Bourne, 27 Feb 2007

Jakob Nielsen's latest Alertbox is about teaching kids the right computer skills.

I totally agree with his view on the dangers of tying education too closely to particular software applications. There are still classes in Web page creation that teach extinct concepts like rollover image links, javascript popups and the <font> tag.

There is some value in teaching kids skills they can apply immediately, while they're still in school, but there's more value in teaching them deeper concepts that will benefit them forever, regardless of changes in specific applications.


...we should teach students how to write hypertext and not how just to write printed documents.

So why do so many educators resist learning hypertext themselves?

The article concludes by talking about 3 problems that cannot be "offshored" (is that a word yet?) or automated:

problem solving, understanding the relation between concepts, and interpersonal communication

I agree with that, especially the problem solving part. That's where humans will win over machines for some time yet.

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