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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Opinion

Being technologically literate imperative for every major


Since the beginning of the century, it has been evident that technology continues to become more advanced and valuable to society. There is no doubt that this dependence of technology will only increase as the future unfolds.

According to The University of Tokyo, “technological solutions are being applied to the many serious challenges facing the world. These include use of new energy technologies to combat global warming, healthcare technologies to increase longevity and quality of life.”

It may not be apparent to students right now, but becoming tech-literate is becoming increasingly vital, as technology is consuming every aspect of the world.

According to The International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, “In order to be a technologically literate citizen, a person should understand what technology is, how it works, how it shapes society and in turn how society shapes it.”

Although learning how to apply technology is important, one must realize the significance it has on us as well. Technology has made advances in education, in the workplace and in healthcare.

At school, teachers are gravitating toward the use of interactive tools and media for making learning interesting. Virtual office tools have helped small and large businesses evolve and expand quickly.

Students will be faced with technology during their lives, and now is a great time to develop those skills needed in order to compete with the developing technological society.

Robert Kravik, professor of political science and associate vice president at the University of Minnesota, said undergraduate students need to develop information literacy and the technical skills needed to utilize the tools.

Kravik’s research showed that while students may believe they possess the skills they need to function efficiently throughout life, students are show to have “very basic office suite skills as well as email and basic web surfing skills. Moving beyond basic activities is problematic, since it appears that they do not recognize the enhanced functionality of the applications they own and use.”

We have to recognize that becoming fluent with technology goes beyond simply using a keyboard and surfing the internet. Technology is always going to be a part of our lives that we will inevitably have to use one time or another — just like reading, writing and math.

According to an article in US News, there are five must-have tech skills college students need to have: “typing ability, online etiquette skills, software suite basics, online research chops and privacy and security awareness.”

These basic skills are easy to learn, but make a great foundation for expanding one’s technical knowledge. Learning technology is like learning another language — it takes time to master.

The power and promise of technology can be further enhanced if all people are technologically literate in the future. Anything short of this may jeopardize our ability to be competitive in the world marketplace and to solve human and other problems through the wise use of technology.

No matter what major each student has chosen to pursue, there is going to be a form of technology that will be involved with their career. We need to keep up with the technical advances in our society and learn as much as we can while our brains are still accustomed to absorbing information.

At UH, students can utilize the Center for Technology Literacy within the University’s College of Technology that helps other organizations enhance the literacy of their members in various fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Don’t hesitate to search for tech classes offered on campus or professional certificates that may be interesting. Upgrading skills and qualifications in any field will only help in advancing one’s opportunity for success.

Opinion columnist Rebekah Barquero is a print journalism sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]

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