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comment by TheGreatAbider16
TheGreatAbider16  ·  656 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think

This does not surprise me much, unfortunately. What does surprise me in my day-to-day life is the incompetence of youth who have grown up with nearly unfettered access to high speed internet and a variety of devices. I teach suburban high schoolers from upper-middle class families, and my students are astoundingly tech illiterate. They do not understand, conceptually, the difference between cloud storage and local storage. They are unable to download a file and then locate it later because they have absolutely no grasp of files or folders or where/how to access/sort information on the machine. Hell, they don't even know how to navigate menus to change display settings, sort information differently, or save a Google Doc as PDF. These kids are freshmen and juniors in high school-- they are 14-16 years old, and if I let them, they would spend the entire school day staring at their phones, laptops, and iPads.

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I had assumed, previously, that being raised on tech would result in a high baseline literacy with the software, but I was wrong. They use their devices all day, but it seems like they use them for such specific, shallow, narrow tasks that they don't pick up any skills beyond how to navigate Instagram and pick up the latest online Jugendsprache. I spend a depressing amount of instructional time either walking them through basic steps to upload an assignment or doing it for them.




Reef3  ·  656 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I have been thinking lately that the push towards "usability" within applications has only increased abstraction and made it more difficult to know what is actually going on in the computer.

I was trying to help my mother transfer some photos from the computer to a flash drive the other day and walking her through the steps over the phone was impossible so I had her share her computer screen with me. I had never used the Windows 10 Photos application before and the way it organizes and collects all of the images on the computer makes it very confusing to just grab a file a move it. The steps to actually find the location of the file on the drive and navigate to it was too high. Then she ended up transferring some of them multiple times and it became a huge mess.

It reminds me of iTunes and how I can't stand the way all of the music on my old iPod existed as on big library blob and it wouldn't let me manipulate the individual files. Why not? How it it easier to abandon a paradigm that is shared across all operating systems and applications on the computer and forces me to do it through your slow, buggy program? Give me a file hierarchy and show me what is on the device.

user-inactivated  ·  656 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I have been thinking lately that the push towards "usability" within applications has only increased abstraction and made it more difficult to know what is actually going on in the computer.

Good god yes. I can edit my registry but I find most social media software to be burdened with so many options and lingo that I loose interest before I gain proficiency in their use.

It's thing like moving files on my phone. Some phones make it really hard to just plug it into a computer and open files and move them. They try to force a intermediary to manage all your data that only makes things slower with more buttons and options that I have to parse and figure out before my data gets moved.

If I'm not afraid to muck about deep in my computers guts It should be child's play to move a few goddamn files but often I find it something other than straight forward.

nothingleftinside  ·  655 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Apple has been making it harder and harder for me to find the root of my filesystem on their OS for years. No wonder people don't know how to do this.

And god forbid I want to manage the files on my god damn iPhone.