Computer Literacy: A New Approach Ken BaldaufFlorida State University
Session Topics • Computer Literacy: A Retrospective • College Requirements • Curriculum Considerations • The State of Technology • Job Market Demands • Today’s Technically Savvy Student • Computer Literacy Defined • A New Approach
Professional Profile Ken Baldauf • FSU Computer Science faculty member • BA in Music, MS in Computer Science • Eight years teaching Computer Literacy @ FSU • Over 5,000 students annually • CGS2060: Computer Literacy • CGS2100: MicroApps for Business • Assisted by 30 teaching assistants
Computer Literacy: A Retrospective Stretching to Accommodate Trends and Growth
Computer Literacy: A working knowledge of personal computers Skills focused Supported by Concepts Computer Literacy Circa 1996 Traditional Definition
Concepts PC Components PC Software PC Multimedia LAN The Internet & Web Security Skills DOS/Windows File Management Email (Elm) Internet/Web MS Works Word Processing Spreadsheets Databases Computer Literacy Circa1996 Traditional Definition
Changes Over Time What’s Next?
College Requirements Setting the Bar
College Requirements • University’s and accreditation agencies have recognized the value of computer knowledge and skills in all career areas. • Requirements are being imposed to verify that students are acquiring computer knowledge and skills prior to graduation. Does your institution have such a requirement?
FSU’s Requirements FSU’s Computer Skills Competency Requirement All undergraduates at The Florida State University must demonstrate basic computer competency prior to graduation. The computer competency requirement may be satisfied be taking an approved course, or exam. Regardless of the vehicle used to satisfy the computer competency requirement, students must demonstrate:
FSU’s Requirement • Basic familiarity with computer hardware, operating systems, and file concepts; • Working knowledge of a word processor or text editor and at least one other software application (e.g., spreadsheet, database, etc.); and • Working knowledge of the World WideWeb (WWW) and electronic mail.
OSU’s Requirement • Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education policy requires that students …must demonstrate computer proficiency for graduation with a bachelors degree. These skills include word processing, spreadsheet, email, and web use.
USU’s Requirements • Ethics Test • Email Test • Operating Systems Test • Document Processing Test • Information Resources Test • Spreadsheets Test
NC State’s Requirement The following may be used to fulfill computer literacy instruction: • instruction and assignments required within courses, and/or • required use of a computer to complete assignments.
Princeton’s Requirements • No computer requirement or intro applications course. • One gen ed course: Computer Science 109:Computers in Our World taught by Brian Kernighan(inventor of C) • Princeton provides applications training through Resident Computer Coordinators (RCCs) that assist students with computing questions.
min max College Requirements • Clearly colleges have differing opinions on what computer literacy is and what should be required of their students.
The Problem • College-wide requirements tend to result in: • Lowest common denominator specifications with minimal expectations • Lots of administrative overhead
FSU’s Solution • Move the responsibility of defining computer literacy down to the department level, subject to college approval. • Departments may select already approved courses or develop one of their own.
College Requirements • Requirements will come and go. • They will require less than we, the experts in the field, feel is appropriate. • Our focus should be on providing our students with the knowledge and skills that we believe they will need through our courses and teaching.
Designing the Course • Influences on the design of a Computer Literacy class include: • An evaluation of the relative importance of varying aspects of technology • Goals of the institution - the target job market • Knowledge of the student’s level of experience
Evaluating The State of Technology These are the days of miracles and wonders….
Today’s PC Gateway’s Gaming PC
Today’s PC Gateway’s Profile 5
Today’s PC Gateway’s Media PC
Today’s PC Apple PowerBook G4
Today’s PC Tablet PC
Today’s PC Flip-start from Vulcan
Today’s PC PalmOne’s Treo-600
Today’s PC • The PC has morphed into a variety information appliances of every size for every need with a strong focus on the ability to connect.
Connecting • Wireless connectivity makes it possible to access information from servers or individuals anywhere, anyplace, anytime. W-fi, Bluetooth & Ad-hoc Wireless Networks
M-commerce Connecting The SmartPhone Bridging Phone/Internet Pervasive Communications
Connecting • The power of connecting is transforming our society.
Connecting Joseph Estrada leaves the presidential palace on Jan. 20, 2001 after resigning earlier in the day. Jan 20, 2001, Philippines: More than 1 million Manila residents, mobilized and coordinated by waves of text messages, peacefully toppled the regime.
Cutting Board Web Browser HP’s SPECs (Small Personal Everyday Computer) Sentient Things
Sentient Things RFID: Giving material objects memory and a voice.
Sentient Things From Howard Rheingold’s “Smart Mobs” Information and communications technologies are starting to invade the physical world. Shards of sentient silicon will be inside boxtops and dashboards, pens, street corners, bus stops, money, most things manufactured or built, within the next 10 years. A shirt label will gain the power to disclose what airplanes, trucks, and ships carried it, what substances compose it, and the URL of the webcam in the factory where the shirt was manufactured.
Sentient Things About the size of a grain of rice, the VeriChip is injected beneath the skin and transmits a unique 125-kilohertz radio frequency signal. Solusat, the Mexican distributor of the VeriChip, is marketing the device as an emergency ID tag under its new VeriKid program.
GPS Global Positioning System (GPS) Showing us the best route and keeping track of kids. Wherify GPS Locator for Children
Virtual and Augmented Reality Augmented Reality: The layering of additional information over sensory input.
The State of techology… …has dramatically changed since 1996. Centering a curriculum around the Desktop PC seriously under-equips students for the challenges they will face.
Work/Life Demands Preparing Students to shoulder the load
Microsoft Office • Microsoft Office skills remain overwhelmingly the most desirable application skills for non-IT staff. • A search on Monster.com turns up over 5,000 hits each for keywords “Word”, “Excel”, “Access”, and “Powerpoint”. Office also serves well to illustrate to students four primary uses of computers
Certification • Employers hiring in positions that depend on specific application skills like to have proof of skills. • “College certified” may be a cheaper alternative.
Beyond Microsoft Office • Many careers also require familiarity with a variety of digital communications and networking technologies: • Internet, Email, IM, Web • LAN, Intranet • Virtual Private Network (VPN) • Wi-fi • Voice over IP • SmartPhone Technologies • College graduates require a technology comfort-level that exceeds that acquired through casual use.
Beyond Microsoft Office • Many careers require computer skills other than Microsoft Office: • Personal Information Management • Web Development • Graphics • Animation
Programming Skills? • An understanding of system and application development demonstrates problem-solving skills. • Non-tech users are becoming increasingly involved in system and software development in businesses and organizations. Why? • They understand the problems at hand • They are increasingly technically savvy • Software development tools are increasingly easier to use • Programmers are not able to keep up with organization demands
Technology @ Home • An understanding of digital technologies is equally important in our personal lives: • High Speed Internet Access • Home Wi-fi Networking • Digital photography and video • Digital Entertainment Media • The complexity of digital technology is outpacing the industry’s ability to make it “user frienly”.