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Date: Wed, 03 May 1995 21:01:42 -0400
From: Marjan <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: developing IT use
Sender: "Higher Education Processes Discussion (HEPROC)"
 <[log in to unmask]>
To: Multiple recipients of list HEPROC-L <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-to: "Higher Education Processes Discussion (HEPROC)"
 <[log in to unmask]>
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Approved-By:  Carl Reimann <[log in to unmask]>
Comments: To: [log in to unmask]
 
Marty Solomon writes:
 
> Computers are now easy enough to use that most people can
> learn by themselves. Most secretaries learn WordPerfect for
> Windows by themselves.
 
Yes, maybe. But I have also come across a lot of secretaries
who have learned that way and who still have a typewriter
hidden somewhere to "do the jobs the computer cannot do",
for example printing envelopes. Because they are self taught
they only look for the obvious they often do not become
"power users". They use the computer as if it were a
typewriter, and a poor one at that.
 
The point I am making is that, yes, basic computer literacy,
how to use the box, is not necessary. What is needed is
learning in context to make sure people know how to make the
most of the computer to make *their* work more effective and
efficient.  Possibly this will be less and less necessary,
but the current generation still needs such assistance.
 
Marty uses the analogy of driving a car. To continue that
analogy: if you just teach people how to drive the car, they
may end up thinking that all it is good for is to drive from
home and work and back. Unless you show them that there are
highways out there, with motels alongside, etc. etc. they
may never get the idea that they could use the car to take a
holiday, or any other of the many uses a car could be good
for.
 
Marjan Lousberg <[log in to unmask]>
Manager Computer Assisted Learning Unit
Computing Services Centre, University of Otago