A fantastic article on coding2learn.org from last year. I think the title says it all.
Kids Can't Use Computers...
Most true line in the entire thing.It really is fun and you get to feel like a hacker, as does the Command Line or PowerShell in Windows.
Itís a device that locks away the file system (or hides it from us). Itís a device that only allows installation of sanitised apps through a regulated app store.
File system is easy to get to and I can side-load apps.
This guy has a fetish for Apple and is judging everything else based on how iOS is set up.
I disagree with much of the article.
The author brings in the car analogy: "I’ve owned a car for most of my adult life and they’re a mystery to me. As such I am dependent on salesmen to tell me which one to buy, mechanics to tell me what’s wrong and then fix it for me ".
He's just shunting his ignorance to a different subject.
I can imagine him going to a garage with a fault and the mechanic basically taking the p*** because he doesn't know that the coil pack has triggered a shutdown in the ECU!!!! What an idiot for not knowing this!!! OMG Don't you know what a coil pack does?!
To most people, a computer is a tool to do stuff, whether to use ebay or watch videos. Some use it for business purposes, but they still don't care how it works as long as it lets them perform their tasks. To folk like us, it is our job to keep on top of such things. We are the mechanics.
Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 31st March 2014 at 09:28 AM.
A very stereotypical post showing why people like him shouldn't be in direct contact with the general public.
I saw this a while ago, and while I agree with a lot of what is said, some of it (like X-13 pointed out above) isn't quite as cut and dry. Still an excellent read though!
This guy projects harder than a PowerPoint. This kind of tool is the all knowing snob techie I loathe. I learn the techno stuff so I can help people do their work. A lot of people may seem dismissive because they're under stress and the technical stuff can turn to jelly in your head when your brain shuts down because you need to get this presentation done in the next 60 seconds.
This article should be condemned not held up as a positive example.
synaesthesia (31st March 2014)
I agree with the concept that people don't understand computers, but then that comes down to a couple of decades of progress in the world of computers.
Most people don't actually *need* to know everything about computers. Does every user need to know how to do everything with it? No. Should users have a foundation in computing to better utilise the equipment they have, and not use their £400 PC as a typewriter and telex machine? Yes.
Knowing the difference between the internet and the web is a good thing to know, as you start to understand which things do what and where problems might occur and how to fix them. Knowing the difference between RAM and a hard disk helps with choosing a PC for the job.
Teaching programming is useful in that it teaches logic and an understanding of what they're computer does and how to fix it.
However, an expectation for everyone to understand all this stuff is a bit much. It simply isn't necessary for most people. Computers are complex devices. We don't all know how to repair our microwaves or TVs...
He states his position a little extremely - expecting everyone to install Linux so they can crawl through the CLI is daft, even I hate dealing with it on Linux - but some of what he says is all too familiar, and it's hard to deny the problem. Not installing anti-virus is like not using protection, ignoring error messages that pop up is like ignoring a burning smell from your exhaust, not checking cables as an automatic response is like flicking the kettle on then throwing it out when it doesn't boil because someone had unplugged it for the toastie machine.
Expecting everyone to be like us is ridiculous, but I think we can expect a little more still, can't we? And I do agree with his point that saying "everyone under 15 is computer capable" is clearly nonsense - we should know that better than anyone!
Read up till the end of "Cant use a computer".
I thought all that and the above was spot on, people cant use a computer. If you compare it to a car you are still expected to keep it topped up with petrol, oil, window cleaner. There is also the basic stuff especially with a new car like not pushing it too hard (high revs).
You are also expected to know what certain things are under the bonnet so you have a basic understanding. Users don't have the basic understanding except turn on, log on, click on icon.
I agree that a lot of people seem to think that being able to put sound on a Powerpoint presentation makes them a whiz with computers is slightly annoying but if all staff knew all of the stuff this guy is suggesting they should know, then we'd be out of a job. And we'd miss out on the laughs we get posting about the daft things they do.
We live in a world thats more and more specialised. 40 years ago (for the sake of a number) you could probably know exactly how things worked. Nowadays its over most peoples "magical event horrizon" no one person CAN undestand everything so you specialise (i cant do much on cars beyond basic maintanence (oil/filters(though i cant even see where the air filter is on my current car lol)change wheels, i did my rear brake pads once) and without the right diagnostic workshop nor can anyone) same goes with computers as they become "simpler consumer devices" there is no need to fix them, your phone breaks buy a new one as they just arnt designed to be repaired beyond a factory reset.
Its an inevetable trend we all tend to have more specialised knowledge about a narrower and narrower field (even computing look back and users with mainframes did "what the software told them" like modern apps but for that to work you needed people who could do all the backend stuff. Byod is the same you dont need your ms skills as much as you need skills in switch/vlan etc configuration.
I would be happy to teach kids how to build and install pcs AND i suspect that most of them would enjoy it BUT is it relavant? When was the last time you build your home pc or do you just buy a $brand$ laptop and replace the hdd with an ssd and while your at it chuck more ram in these days and building pcs probably used to be bread and butter to us (compamny i work for when i first started we built all the pcs we sold to schools now the last pc i built (and thats stretching the point a bit as it was maybe 8 screws and all cables are fixed inplace was a nuc for my living room) now we just resell hp/lenovo/fuji/verypc as its all about price we cant build 30 pcs as cheaply as we can buy from someone else so its a skill that for me has become all but worthless)
in a what of what the author said he isnt wrong but i disagree thats its NESESCARILY a bad thing again beyond the very basic fuel explodes in the engine pushes the piston down which turns the crank moving the next piston into line and powering the engine explanation i have little idea how a car works (one day i will buy an old escort and fix that but until then) and in daily life its just not an issue
Last edited by sted; 31st March 2014 at 10:11 AM.
I think he has made a lot of good points regarding the schools curriculum and how we manage the machines by locking them down. The problem being this will always be the case as a lot of children just aren't interested in tinkering with computers and are more worried they will break them.
If we all now stopped the restrictions put in place and deleted virtually all of our GP's there would be more chaos than good! People won't know how to add printers or how to input the proxy server, these are just some examples but it's true they just expect to turn it on and for it to work and a school machine is definatley not meant to be the gunie pig to be tested on it should be their own computers they mess up and have to research to fix..... but will our users ever do this? No. Simply due to the fact they're worried about breaking the device so they won't ever use it in that way. Computers are expensive and cost upward from normally around £250 people think that if they break Windows the OS the whole machine needs replacing and this is very rarely the case.
As a kid from a very young age I had a desktop Dell bought for me with a 15" CRT monitor running Windows 95. When I was 4 I'd mess this thing up a million times over but what my parents failed to realise is that it wasn't because I didn't know what I was doing and was awful with computers it was because I'd mess with setting, I'd see what different things would do and I'd research on how they work (yes this sounds geeky) but that was my hobby it was what I enjoyed doing and then at the age of 9 I built my first Gaming Rig running XP. Now when at home or with family I am the go to man to fix all the devices, it makes me giggle a bit to myself as my little brother who is 14 bless him wants to go into computers but dosen't even know the basics that we come across daily such as installing OS, upgrading hardware, he can use Minecraft and Windows 8 but at his age I'd been building loads of computers and upgrading them, developed my own website.... I could go on.
There are some children I come across that know a bit about the technical side of computing but in our whole school there is probably only 2 children that I can confidently say understand some of the logic and what I do.
It's a good blog but there are a lot of things I disagree with as well and quite frankly by the way he words certain things and talks about different types of OS's such as Android, Mac, Linux you can see he's far from the expert he does sound a little to me like he's the teacher and isn't completely computer illiterate. So he know how to fix internet issues but can he setup DHCP Server and things like that? Unlikely!
I DO expect them to READ THE ERROR MESSAGES. It's not hard to read the "no logon servers available" [other messages are available] message so you can tell me.
I also expect them to be able to tell me what they were doing when it "stopped working" and what the were expecting to happen.
"I'm not good with computers" is just an excuse.
cromertech (31st March 2014)
I think the article does have a point. There is a general problem with most people understanding of how computers work. And for a device that has become central to most people adult lives that's a bit disconcerting. The car analogy can be a good one. I've a basic idea of how an engine works, but I've no need or love for the subject to know what each part is called and where it goes. I've past my driving test, and I know the fundamentals I need to know to use the device competently.
I think the article is trying to highlight the fact that most people don't know the basic fundamentals they need to know to operate a computer competently. And that is worrying, it should be worrying. The problem right now is that the governments answer to the problem is "teach everyone to program". Er, no, how about "teach everyone the fundamentals"?
People using computers should know what an operating system is, what a file system is, what a network is, etc. They don't need to know how to write an OS from scratch or build a computer from components. But they should be able to go into a store like PC-World and know how to buy a suitable device for their needs.
Why does it not worry us that a degree educated individual fresh from university can't find their proxy settings? Can't understand why an embedded youtube video might not work? etc.
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