Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Worry

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Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Worry

Postby Orbmiser on Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:41 pm

Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Worry You
http://www.coding2learn.org/blog/2013/07/29/kids-cant-use-computers/

How the hell did we get to this situation? How can a generation with access to so much technology, not know how to use it?


Interesting read as many times installing and repairing computers ran into these kind of situations.
Had me scratching my head in frustration.
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby 3mutts on Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:04 pm

I sadly used to be alot like theses people he has helped (I did at least know how to use the WIFI manager in Windows unlike some people he talked about :roll:) and basically getting infected over and over again pushed me to learn about computers to prevent it, I now pretty much use Linux for most things (except games), can reinstall a system, fix malware infected systems, and know what a BIOS is.
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby Orbmiser on Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:27 pm

3mutts wrote:I sadly used to be alot like theses people he has helped (I did at least know how to use the WIFI manager in Windows unlike some people he talked about :roll:) and basically getting infected over and over again pushed me to learn about computers to prevent it, I now pretty much use Linux for most things (except games), can reinstall a system, fix malware infected systems, and know what a BIOS is.


+1 and Good for you.

I was constantly paid by people to fix things that didn't need fixing with a little knowledge and forethought.
Really got me are the people that Have "I Cannot lose for any reason" or "Super Important" Docs,Pics,etc.. and wanting me to recover them.
Sometimes yes sometimes no. I asked them "If they are so important then why didn't you back them up?"

If people would spend just 5 mins a day learning something new on their computers.
Then the world and the internet would be a large magnitude better off.
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby JosephM on Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:03 pm

Thanks for posting. Interesting read. I have three teenage kids and a long time girlfriend who is a high school teacher living in my house and this article describes them perfectly. Makes me re-think how I handle things when they come to me with their "my computer isn't working" problems.
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby passerby on Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:26 pm

Very sad, and painfully relevant. I always laugh when I'm told "You'll get along with xx; they're good with computers too" only to find out that their expertise ends at installing games and using torrents. Proxy? Linux? FTP? Never heard of them.

Back in high school I took an IT course. All of the script kiddies and facebook addicts dropped out when we started learning binary arithmetic :lol:
Same deal with this programming course I did last year. We started the course with ~25 students and ended with 4. Turns out making mods for Minecraft doesn't make you a master programmer :roll:

When I'm fixing things for someone, I tell them why it needed fixing. I don't want to be called back because they made the same (usually) stupid mistake. If they don't wanna listen, I don't wanna help. Sorry, but I don't fancy a two hour drive because someone disabled their anti-virus.
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby Nilla Wafer on Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:03 am

I'm so ashamed to say "That was me" until I was introduced to Linux. Helpless little girl scared of technology but bound to it by necessity. Using Linux - and you can't help learning about computers just using Linux - has helped tame my fear of technology.

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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby lexon on Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:10 pm

Reality check. Kids want smart phones. My Dell Streak Seven and Firewire HD have taken a back seat to my iPhone3GS. Found new on ebay for $90.00. A sim card from a ATT GoPhone for $15.00.
Kids everywhere using smart phones.

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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby 3mutts on Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:19 pm

^ I don't have a smart phone (only a old Samsung flip phone).
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby Orbmiser on Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:31 pm

Me I get by without a landline or Cell phone last 10 years.

When I raised my daughters when they wanted something because it was cool and too fit in with being cool.
I would say No! most times. But it was quite acceptable for them to go out there and earn their own cash and pay for it.
Half the time it turned out for them not to be such a cool thing to have after all. :P

When they wanted a computer fine I supplied them with one. But they had to learn on it everyday.
And once a week would ask them to show me what they learned on the computer that week.

This was when they were in 3rd grade since they were twins. What got me flustered were they were both Honor Students.
And didn't even know their multiplication tables. I was appalled when the teacher told me in a conference that they were more concerned about bolstering their self-esteem then teaching them critical real world problem solving and learning things like Math,Science,etc..

So went home and drew up lessons plans off the internet supplied by other teachers.
And they had an hour of additional lessons I put together for them.
And yep they hated those real world work problems I gave them on Math,Science,English,etc..
Which help them use what they learned to solve real world problems.

Turns out they thanked me as they became adults one going to college and seeing all the struggling freshman with starting prep courses as coming out of High School weren't prepared for any of the entry college courses required.
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby grimdestripador on Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:25 am

This article, in no way, came off was elitist. Get off my lawn.
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby passerby on Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:41 am

lexon wrote:Reality check. Kids want smart phones. My Dell Streak Seven and Firewire HD have taken a back seat to my iPhone3GS. Found new on ebay for $90.00. A sim card from a ATT GoPhone for $15.00.
Kids everywhere using smart phones.


Even so, the article still applies. How many kids do you know who actually understand how their phones work? What is 3G? What is wifi? What can a $700 phone do that a $200 phone can't?
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby sammiev on Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:38 am

Thanks for the great read! +1
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby Nilla Wafer on Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:53 pm

Speaking as a kid, we do love our gadgets! But just to have them, and to use them for social stuff, which to people who work, and who raise families, and have responsibilities, is probably just silly trivial stuff. For a kid with no real responsibilities except school and maybe an after school job, her social life is EVERYTHING and most kids conduct their social lives on line, I'm sorry to say. On occasion we meet "in real life" to hang out at the mall or something, and it's "important" to have the latest cool gadget.

But we can't actually use them for anything more important than socializing. When they break, we take them to the gadget store and demand that they be fixed.

For real work (even school work) or anything productive, a "smart phone" won't do the trick. I use my desktop computer for real work, for letter writing, and anything truly productive. When mine "breaks," I'm learning to fix it and get back to work. It's really easy with Mint and other distros that are have all the tools (GUI especially) for quick access to the things I might mess up, and messing up is thankfully very rare because I have completely compatible hardware and the only changes I ordinarily make are largely cosmetic.

The article is right on. Most kids really can't USE computers, nor most of their other gadgets.

Before I get the keys to my first car, I'll be expected to demonstrate that I know how to check fluids and add them, how to change a tire, swap broken wiper blades and light bulbs, and change blown fuses. I'm not going to be one of those helpless little whiny schoolgirls that just calls a tow truck and waits in her car. The same ought to be true for computer users! And it would have been in my case, except that my parents never learned how to use one.

No ordinary teenage girl,
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby grimdestripador on Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:10 pm

Public reply to author of article:
First, the article author uses the reference of 'Kids these days'. Bear with me during my overuse of this phrase, for I find its use humerus. I urge you to read it in a 'old man irish lighthouse inspector's voice'; for lolz of course.

Kids these days don't have the 'duty of ownership', to the items which I, as old folk, earned my right of passage, by doing things the hard way. Lets say throughout time society has gone through many transitions as the result to new inventions and their progression into a common possession.*. Consider the radio, only at first available to those fortunate enough to have electricity in a town with broadcast. Consider how many things the chosen specific group have in common with each other. Now consider, as technology develops and manufacturing of radios increased, the group identification resulted in the elitist telling stories of the good 'ol days. Before all these new fanglers come in with their new sponsor and new uppity music. ()*Position also may also be knowledge/ideas)

Consider the automobile.
Kids these days can't use cars? They play their radios too loud damaging their ears, draining the battery. They abuse the transmissions. They can't even use a manual shift, yet alone their turn signal correctly. I expect all drivers on the road capable of not just inflating and changing a tire; But inspect break-pads, change gear oil and transmission rings. Why I bet, these kids never knew what size socket to use on the spark plug. These new fangled kids have it all, not having to know how things work, and just using it. These kids argue back that the point of technology is to improve, and to make new creation based upon past results. These kids never understand the necessity of learning the basics and the origins.

I shall take some sample quotes out of context to prove my unfounded points. They follow in the same paragraph order. For I have a story to tell, and it probally won't get to any point in particular, except to remind you of the good old days.

‘Do you know where the proxy settings are?’ I asked, hopefully.


So tell me, when you go to buy tires, Do you know the dimensions and ratings. Perhaps you are pulling a 4 place trailer, what load ratings are needed for each of the diameters.

‘Can you tell me how to reticulate splines using a hexagonal decode system so that I can build a GUI in VisualBasic and track an IP Address.’

No but someone on CSI defiantly can.


I have said, streaming video is blocked

So wait, this lady comes and asks why her presentation wasn't working. And he claims it her fault for not knowing that his setup blocks you-tube. She had a valid question. Say I come into a mechanics shop, and tell him that my car stalls on cold days. He says of course, I just modded the onboard chip so it idles less and now can only take premiums gas. If only you would have inspected the ODBC codes using your reader, you would have known.

The truth is, kids can’t use general purpose computers, and neither can most of the adults I know. There’s a narrow range of individuals whom, at school, I consider technically savvy.

So we can say, that you are an expert?


He asks what he needs to do, and I suggest he reinstalls Windows. He looks at me blankly. He can’t use a computer.

He came to you. He recognized a problem, and come to you to fix it. So he probably has a virus. Blaming him for not having an anti-virus is pretty wrong. Seriously, this guy is an "expert" and he is saying things like 'Use an anti-virus"....

. ‘Bloody thing won’t connect to the INTERNET.’ ... .. I take the offending laptop from out of her hands, toggle the wireless switch that resides on the side, and hand it back to her.

You insensitive clod, she is old and has a hard time seeing small brail and rainbow 802.11insignia on the side of a laptop. Did that switch you use look remarkably like the ones used to eject the modular bay and battery... i bet they look similar.

On his third attempt I manage to get a glimpse of the message. I reach behind his computer and plug in the Ethernet cable. He can’t use a computer.
Have you seen the windows errror? It says nothing about a network connection and says to contract the domain administrator. The help hyperlink gives information not relevant to any problem. I bet you even set the computer up to NAG the user saying that pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL and logging in is some sort of official activity on the network and may be disciplined.

I ask her to bring in her laptop and iPhone. When she brings them in the next day I restore her phone from the backup that resides on her laptop. She has her contacts back, and her photos as well. She’s happy. She can’t use a computer.

How was she supposed to know, ahead of time, that her contacts would be backed up. I wonder if my contacts are backed up. Probably not, I guess I can't use a computer either.

His desktop is a solid wall of randomly placed Microsoft office icons.

I'm with you on this, lets make fun of this interface where we have a grid a clickable icons, this argument kinda worked during the XP days, but seriously, doesn't every new interface use this technique.


I quickly try and explain that the desktop is not a good place to store files as they’re not backed up on the server, but he doesn’t care, he just wants the internet back.

The best way into someones heart is to criticize them for things about which they did not ask.


I look at his screen. Displayed in his web-browser is what appears to be an XP dialogue box warning that his computer is infected and offering free malware scanning and removal tools. He’s on a Windows 7 machine.

So if I get a java applet warning, because it uses different button styles, I can consider it malware. Good advice. I bet you were tech available for lab. Wouldn't you want kids to inform you of potential threats? What if it starts RDP restarting his computer with countdown timers? Naa, just restart like it says to, because you are being tricked.

They even know how to use Word and PowerPoint and Excel. Ask them to reinstall an operating system and they’re lost. Ask them to upgrade their hard-drive or their RAM and they break out in a cold sweat. Ask them what https means and why it is important and they’ll look at you as if you’re speaking Klingon.

So apparently they use a computer to accomplish work. And don't use them for the sake of maintaining and understanding. Kinda like cars.


If only cars had some sort of VM (Virtual Machine) to which you could clone copies of and crash and format without consequence.
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Postby AnonKS on Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:07 am

I'm so glad my dad raised me like he did. He has a degree in electronic engineering and when PCs were getting popular, he jumped on it like white on rice.
He built computers for fun and for business. Together with myself and my brother, we built a gaming rig for us. He made sure that we did everything and just gave us gentle instructions along the way. I was the first kid in my school to own a 1ghz processor and the first one to own the awesomeness that was the Nvidia Riva TnT2. And I built it myself! I even went through the hell that was a CD and 4 floppies to install win98.
Then my parents encouraged me to take an elective in school called "introduction to computers". The first thing my teacher said was "restart in dos". We didn't learn just how to use programs, but how computers work. While in does mode, we spent the next couple weeks in qbasic. At the end we had to each program a working port of super Mario bros. That feeling when it worked. Then we moved on to windows and eventually programming in C. And all of this in an intro course! Sadly I moved and had to switch schools before I could move on to the programming course, where they taught assembly, c++, java, perl, and web dev.
The point is, however, as a 29 year old, I am able of critical thinking. If something doesn't work, I know how to troubleshoot. In any OS. I was very very lucky. A lot of my friend just have no clue how things work. Just how to use them.
Just last night, I upgraded my PC from mint 14 xfce to mint 15 KDE. My wife wanted to print something and the only option it gave her was "print to image" which means what? Oops I forgot to install the printer. So while she's rambling on about how Linux is stupid, blah blah, I go into settings, click add printer, select my printer, select the appropriate driver in the list and bingo. Printed without issue.
This is a woman who has a degree as an audio engineer. She can set up a complete studio, cabling everything herself. She can rip apart and repair an analog mixing board, yet doesn't know how to install a printer. A printer that btw isn't compatible at all with her computer. A Macbook pro.

Sorry for the very long post. Just really wanted to share all that. I consider myself very lucky to have had the experiences that I have and I feel really bad for people who haven't. I try to educate when people are interested in learning, but they're usually not.

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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby Flemur on Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:41 pm

grimdestripador sez: So apparently they use a computer to accomplish work. And don't use them for the sake of maintaining and understanding. Kinda like cars.

I pretty much agree with your post, and was going to make the same analogy. How many people here can rebuild a carburetor or a transmission? Replace their own brake pads?

I'd planned to write a long rant about how both winos and linux could made more user-friendly - because I think they're both pretty novice-user-hostile*, but I think I'll play some guitar instead.

* I've been programming since the time of punch-cards, and until I bought my own home computers, I generally got a "system weenie" to fix all the system stuff, because it was boring. Now it's sort of a hobby (have several linuxes multi-boot, including Arch).
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby Orbmiser on Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Analogies seem kind of extreme to one side or the other.
Without room for a middle ground.

True none want to learn to rebuild a carburetor of change spark plugs or calibrate their engine timing.
But that doesn't equate a basic need and understanding of knowing how to refill your window washer tank or change wiper blades.Or how to change a tire or put on chains. Which even today see the many struggling to do these basic skills they should have.

Hell since they removed the learning to parallel parking from the driver's test.
Seen the complete idiots that can't even parallel park their cars anymore.

If I can't find someone to change my flat does that mean I just don't drive the car then?
If my car overheats and I'm stranded out in the boondocks and then do I just become a clueless victim?
Because I don't know to how to check the radiator water level. Or check for a clogged air filter or a broken fan belt.
And quick problem solving workarounds that could mean life or death in the desert or snow storm.

You don't have to be a mechanic to be a more self sufficient and responsible driver that can deal with simpler problems.
Thru Common Sense and Good Problem solving skills. Be prepared with the right tools and how to use them.

Just because everyone seems to choose to be lazy and clueless doesn't validate their stance to be so.
Educating yourself to using. Whether it be a Car or Computer will give you less frustration and make you more productive satisfying experience for your own benefit then waiting and relying on others to fix your simpler problems.
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby MartyMint on Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:30 pm

Orbmiser wrote:Just because everyone seems to choose to be lazy and clueless doesn't validate their stance to be so.


Easy there...

:roll:

I understand you're "enthusiastic" about Linux and computers judging by the number of threads you start, but different people prioritise differently those things which they deem to be important in their lives.
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby Orbmiser on Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:44 pm

MartyMint wrote:
Orbmiser wrote:Just because everyone seems to choose to be lazy and clueless doesn't validate their stance to be so.


Easy there...

:roll:

I understand you're "enthusiastic" about Linux and computers judging by the number of threads you start, but different people prioritise differently those things which they deem to be important in their lives.


It's not about Linux or Computers. It's about all aspects of a persons life. No matter the subject or priorities.
And their choices affect others even with deadly consequences for others. Due to their irresponsibility and bad choices based on lack of understanding responsibility or consequences. Things like Spyware,Malware,Viruses on computers are direct results of people that give low priority to understanding in using their computers. Leads to other people having their identities and monies stolen. So far as I'm concerned they are guilty of that persons lost. Ignorance is no protection in harming of others.

There is always responsibility of the individual to be well... responsible. In thought and deed we all should strive for understanding the world around us. To use our brains and to apply common sense and critical thinking skills to resolve our own problems to the best of our abilities. And teach our children to use their brains more and Not rely on other's to do it all for us.

Sorry off my Rant Horse now.
Just get so tired of people that defend their stance to remain ignorant and irresponsible as a right.
Instead of what should be their responsibility to society and others besides just thinking of themselves.
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Re: Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Wo

Postby MartyMint on Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:57 pm

You really need to take a break from the internet.

Go for a walk. Get some fresh air.
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