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Computer Literacy is a person's ability to use computers, programs, and other technology in an efficient manner. A person's comfort level with specific technology or programs is also a part of computer literacy. Understanding how a computer or technology work is also a key part of computer literacy. The exact definition of computer literacy varies depending on who it is referring to. Someone who is a professional computer user may be considered computer literate because they have had extensive exposure to the technology and have learned how to use it effectively.
Computer Literacy Skills
Computer skills can be broken down into three different categories. These categories are:
- Computer Fundamentals
- Intermediate Computer Literacy Skills
- Advanced Computer Literacy Skills
Fundamental skills are usually those that relate to the computer itself and the basic skills needed to operate programs. Fundamental skills include turning the computer on and off, knowing the different parts of a computer, being able to print documents, use of e-mail and the Internet, and accessing files saved to the computer.
At the intermediate level, users are considered "functional." The actions that fall into this category include knowing the difference between different types of computers, backing up data, use of social networking sites. Users in this level also know how to install and remove software on the computer.
Finally, at the advanced level users are considered literate. At this stage users are able to troubleshoot computer problems, write computer programs, and use computer coding.
Computer Literacy and Schools
As technological advances continues to change it is important that people are computer literate. Many schools have started exposing children to computers and software at a very early age. It is important that people are computer literate not only because they can use the technologies in their personal lives with personal computers, but also those with computer literacy will have greater opportunities in the work force as more and more careers require the use of these different technologies.