The term ''computer literacy'' refers to the ability to use the tools associated with a personal computer appropriate to one's age. Because technology is an ever-evolving field, definitions of computer literacy vary with time; what was considered literate in the 1980s became obsolete by the 1990s, and in the future expectations will change and expand even further. It is not useful, therefore, to list current tools as defining computer literacy. Rather, it is generally better to view computer literacy in terms of the amount of assistance required for use. Young children should be able to use developmentally appropriate programs with assistance. Elementary and middle school children are expected to be able to operate computers and applications independently, relying on adults to help with problem solving. Older adolescents should be mostly independent in their ability to manipulate data, applications, and machines.
See also: COMPUTERS; LEARNING
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