I was talking to teachers at a school this week and went on a bit of a rant about how Japanese junior and senior high school students don’t do enough to acquire useful computer skills in school.
During a conversation afterwards, there seems to be an impression among teachers that IT skills involve using tablets, e-textbooks, and other new-fangled resources that they don’t understand.
That was not in the slightest what I was referring to.
I believe all students should acquire the following skills and competencies at school:
- Familiarity with computers, keyboards, mice
- Ability to do basic operations (turn on and off, launch programs, find things on the computer)
- Basic touch typing
- Use of word processors, spreadsheets, presentation software
- Ability to do basic research on the internet
- Ability to share data and collaborate online (via email or the cloud)
- Basic use of email (including spam awareness)
- Basic web design (elementary HTML) and blog creation
- Awareness of online safety issues (including identity theft)
Students should not only do this in their IT classes, but also practice and reinforce these skills in their other subject classes so that they come to see them as tools rather than content for a specific class.
This may seem basic and obvious to some readers, but as far as I can tell is not happening consistently across the board in Japan.
What do you think? Is anything missing from the list?