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Surprise: Even Today, Not All Students are Tech Savvy

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April 25, 2012 3:59:46 PM

Does ones ability to play Angry Birds count as tech savy?
April 25, 2012 4:04:43 PM

Quote:
despite the fact that the praised new world of mobile devices would enable students to learn anywhere and anyplace, they still study in the same places they did decades ago

Learning and studying are two very different things. Libraries are places dedicated to read and study, peoples' desks and couches are where they study at home. The "new world of mobile devices" simply allows people to find information at other locations (i.e. learning), but doesn't provide new places to study.
April 25, 2012 4:04:56 PM

Forget how to Twit or post pics on Facebook, I'd define "Tech Savvy" as anyone who can explain the basic principle behind the internal combustion engine.
April 25, 2012 4:06:02 PM

Students are more interested in posting pics of their awesomeness on Facebook with their phones , they don't need to be tech savvy to do that
April 25, 2012 4:18:34 PM

- Honestly I'm not surprised. However in my experience, many people think they're tech savvy just because they have a Macbook and an iPhone and can't be bothered to learn and understand anything else in the technology world that isn't Apple-related. What also compounds the issue is that the Macbook and iPhone platforms offer a sense of perceived operational simplicity which contradicts the complexity of emerging technology.

- Also let's face reality, most people think it's a bad thing to be labeled as a tech geek or nerd so the idea is to appear tech savvy but also look cool (ahem Apple) in order to be socially accepted.

April 25, 2012 4:19:29 PM

I work for a Technology training company and deal with network engineers on a daily basis. "SOME" of these guys are Routing and Switching gurus but have NO computer skills what so ever...Baffles the hell out of me. Students are worse. JMO
April 25, 2012 4:19:44 PM

Naturally the library or dorm is still the best place to study; teachers still want book sources in all my reports, and you try studying anywhere else, it's too loud or you're likely to run into friends and lose your focus! You can't exactly study while waiting in line for your coffee, or while driving, or while doing anything that requires even the slightest attention.

I would define a tech savvy student as one who knows their way around both Windows and Mac, Linux is a plus but is not required, as very few if any public computers utilize linux. Knowledge of MS office or a comparable suite is a must so you can create reports and projects. Basic knowledge of how to diagnose a broken or ill computer will save you a lot of money, and knowing how to perform upgrades will save you the trouble of buying a new machine in your senior year or in graduate school (as long as you bought a good one to begin with). Smartphones, meh. You don't use smartphones in class. Tablets are a joke, you can't take notes quickly and there's not enough screen real estate to do any proper work. Plus the app atmosphere does not fit well with productivity, it's just too casual. Also, know some basic video and audio editing for projects, and photoshop experience never hurts. You can really blow away your teachers when you create professional looking projects, posters, and videos.

Those are the BASICS for surviving. If you want to excel, learn every part of your computer inside and out, learn to repair laptops (since you'll be using them. Grab an old junk laptop and take it apart, you'll learn fast that way). Keep up with new tech and software that might help you, and know your way around a DOS prompt. Do all this, and you may be able to make some money on the side fixing your "tech savvy" friends' computers.

Social media does NOT make you tech savvy, anybody can figure out a facebook page if they try hard enough. And if they can't, they don't belong on a computer period.
April 25, 2012 4:24:46 PM

Insightful article. Almost all college students have a cell phone, computer, and use social media? How enlightening! And, it was a huge stunner to hear that they study in the library, their bedrooms, and dedicated study areas. That is quite strange.

When I was in college, I had no phone, since I preferred to drop in on people unannounced instead. Facebook? Twitter? Heck no! I made people paper letters instead. Much more thoughtful. I didn't have a computer, because I preferred researching reports based off the 2 related books I could find in the local library. What kind of research requires more than the opinions of 2 books? None I say. And as far as typing something up and printing it? No way. I went to the dean to force all my teachers to accept my handwritten reports, written in cursive with black pen. Sure, it wasted an absurd amount of time hand writing the reports, instead of just typing them, but they looked so pretty and formal the old fashioned way... that I just had to go to the dean and be all like "INJUSTICE! Mah oppressive teachers are all telling me I must submit my work in .doc format! This is discrimination of some kind, and I sue!" And she was like: "Whatever, weirdo, fine."

As far as where to study? I don't know about you guys, but I found studying in the middle of I-25 pretty relaxing. Just propped a chair up in the middle of the interstate there, tossed in some of my earbuds for my Sony Walkman, and just chillaxed, you know? Sure, I'd have to grip my books tight to make sure they don't get blown away by a passing vehicle, and occasionally I'd have to escape arrest for "endangering the public" and "criminal mischief".... but, where else was I supposed to study? My room?


April 25, 2012 4:25:30 PM

You mean to tell me that being able to take a photo of my self while driving and posting it to my facebook while at same time making each stop for the riders on the bus is not considered tech savey? well I will need to update my resume then, after next stop.
April 25, 2012 4:25:55 PM

jajajaja, "tech savvy" probably the majority of people that refer to themselves as "tech savvy" turn out not be as "savvy" as they thought they were.
April 25, 2012 4:29:09 PM

You don't need statistics to prove this. The "tech-savvy" students I work with probably cannot tell the difference between a HDD and a SSD.
April 25, 2012 4:30:56 PM

Thank SJ for that, everything is so simple on a mac, you just pay people to fix it for you instead of actually learning.
April 25, 2012 4:33:27 PM

northwesternYou don't need statistics to prove this. The "tech-savvy" students I work with probably cannot tell the difference between a HDD and a SSD.


assuming they know what ANY of them means ...
ASSUMING (too much) ...
April 25, 2012 4:38:45 PM

apone- Honestly I'm not surprised. However in my experience, many people think they're tech savvy just because they have a Macbook and an iPhone and can't be bothered to learn and understand anything else in the technology world that isn't Apple-related. What also compounds the issue is that the Macbook and iPhone platforms offer a sense of perceived operational simplicity which contradicts the complexity of emerging technology. - Also let's face reality, most people think it's a bad thing to be labeled as a tech geek or nerd so the idea is to appear tech savvy but also look cool (ahem Apple) in order to be socially accepted.


This and other comments of this ilk are the dumbest stuff I have read. What the hell is "tech savvy'?
A car is a piece of tech. Does one need to be car savvy to drive a car? Tech(nology) is all around us and its only computer/smartphone from android/windows that seems to require inordinate 'tech savvy'-ness to operate. And you folks bandy about with useless knowledge that you think is important to know before you can use a device.
While Apple products are far from perfect they are driving useability by non-"tech savvy" folks which is what should be happening. Just as a car now requires learning how to steer and turn the key for it to be useable and you don't need to know how the engine and fuel injectors and etc work to fully operate a car.
April 25, 2012 4:47:53 PM

syrious1Thank SJ for that, everything is so simple on a mac, you just pay people to fix it for you instead of actually learning.


Just as we do with cars. What a wonder! Cars are also "tech" and we don't need to be "car tech savvy". Time to get over it and weane yourself away from useless knowledge unless you want to get into the field as your career (just like car mechanics and card companies).
April 25, 2012 4:49:33 PM

you should at least understand the fundamental principal, see that's the point exactly, everything is so easy for mac users they stub their nose at stuff they do not understand.

Technology encompasses a lot more than a simple smartphone or laptop usage.
April 25, 2012 5:07:19 PM

tmshdwThis and other comments of this ilk are the dumbest stuff I have read. What the hell is "tech savvy'?A car is a piece of tech. Does one need to be car savvy to drive a car? Tech(nology) is all around us and its only computer/smartphone from android/windows that seems to require inordinate 'tech savvy'-ness to operate. And you folks bandy about with useless knowledge that you think is important to know before you can use a device.While Apple products are far from perfect they are driving useability by non-"tech savvy" folks which is what should be happening. Just as a car now requires learning how to steer and turn the key for it to be useable and you don't need to know how the engine and fuel injectors and etc work to fully operate a car.


I was going to add something like this... While I agree with you about being "tech savvy" is not such an important thing, it does give you an edge in some specific areas where you can put this knowledge to good use.

For example, you're not required to know what an ADD operation in assembler does to program something in Java, but it will definitely give you an advantage when putting together a solution (arch/design + programming), making it more efficient, faster or easier to read.

Being "tech savvy" is most definitely not a requisite for something (driving, programming, construction, etc), but between someone who knows what's going on "under the hood" in what it's supposed to do, usually gives better results in the long run than someone who doesn't know, or even worse, doesn't care to know.

Cheers!
April 25, 2012 5:09:20 PM

My definition of tech-savvy is someone who understands that buying purely based on price and features without researching is ill-advised, legit anti-virus programs don't kill hard drives, computers are susceptible to to overheating and therefore need regular cleaning, Windows updates and Service Packs are not viruses, WPA2 encryption is essential to wireless security and preventing sudden bandwidth crashes because an idiot decided to download 1 TB of adult-content from your router, poor security often leads to a slow computer and a stolen identity, software require regular updating or replacing, and can use Google to diagnose basic problems.

Sadly, the list of everything that a tech-savvy person should avoid, doesn't apply to my family...
April 25, 2012 5:17:11 PM

@ tmshdw

- First of all, what I mean by "tech savvy" includes computers, smartphones, tech gadgets, anything and everything that socially labels someone as a tech "geek" or "nerd'. Second of all, no one is saying you have to be car savvy to drive a car or adopt a similar mentality for other subjects. Third of all, if you actually understand my reasoning, you would have realized my point which is that many people have a false sense of reality about being tech savvy just because they own Apple products.

- Not trying to bash Apple, but it seems they're a catalyst for people perceiving they suddenly know the industry.

- Also I agree with syrious1, taking the time to learn and understand the fundamentals and "useless" stuff can help make educated decisions. Case in point, as a car guy myself, I would hands-down pick up a V6 Ecoboost Ford F-150 (over its Triton V8) because I know the Ecoboost V6 has more horsepower, torque, and better MPG even though it has a smaller displacement than the V8 option.
April 25, 2012 5:25:16 PM

Tehch savvy and the popularity of Apple amongst students are contradictory trends. Tech savvyness is probably inversely related to the probability of owning Apple products.
April 25, 2012 5:25:59 PM

Tech-savvy means understanding (at least) the basics of "tech".
Because we use more and more "tech" in our lives and because there is more and more advertising around as, understanding it makes us less prone to marketing and less dependent on trusting others to solve our problems. Even if you can't/don't want/don't have time to fix it, at least you know what to expect from whoever fixes it.
At the same time you are less likely to have unreasonable expectations from it (the first thing that comes in mind is the "magic" on Apple products, second is not understanding why the cheap computer you bought full of trial versions and without an antivirus runs slower and slower).
At the same time, it takes time and will power to learn stuff. It's (always) a trade-off: pay more money and be lazy or save some and learn something.
April 25, 2012 5:35:17 PM

YukaI was going to add something like this... While I agree with you about being "tech savvy" is not such an important thing, it does give you an edge in some specific areas where you can put this knowledge to good use.For example, you're not required to know what an ADD operation in assembler does to program something in Java, but it will definitely give you an advantage when putting together a solution (arch/design + programming), making it more efficient, faster or easier to read.Being "tech savvy" is most definitely not a requisite for something (driving, programming, construction, etc), but between someone who knows what's going on "under the hood" in what it's supposed to do, usually gives better results in the long run than someone who doesn't know, or even worse, doesn't care to know.Cheers!


Agree. Can't count how many girlfriends, etc I've helped in selecting a car as I, in many areas, have some level of savvy-ness. In areas where I don't have knowledge I seek friends or publications that help. Consumer reports to pick a washer, friend to help me select a good scotch as examples. This is life and the more you know the better. But it should not be required or endemic to use something successfully.

Computers are as cars were 100 years ago. Cars back then needed frequent hands on to keep them running. Not anymore. "electronic tech" needs to progress the same way.
April 25, 2012 5:58:54 PM

tmshdwThis and other comments of this ilk are the dumbest stuff I have read. What the hell is "tech savvy'?A car is a piece of tech. Does one need to be car savvy to drive a car? Tech(nology) is all around us and its only computer/smartphone from android/windows that seems to require inordinate 'tech savvy'-ness to operate. And you folks bandy about with useless knowledge that you think is important to know before you can use a device.While Apple products are far from perfect they are driving useability by non-"tech savvy" folks which is what should be happening. Just as a car now requires learning how to steer and turn the key for it to be useable and you don't need to know how the engine and fuel injectors and etc work to fully operate a car.

This and other comments of this ilk are the scariest stuff I have read. Unlike cars, computers do not readily kill people when misused. I have no objection to letting the general populace take computers for a spin without obtaining a certain minimal skill-set that would equate to "tech-savvy". On the other hand, you SHOULD have a reasonable understanding of physics and the limits of your auto-technology before being allowed to operate a car. Just because we do let dumb people drive, doesn't mean we should.

Making computers more accessible to dumb people is laudable, but it has made the internet less enjoyable than it was 15-20 years ago... :) 
April 25, 2012 6:15:22 PM

threefishThis and other comments of this ilk are the scariest stuff I have read. Unlike cars, computers do not readily kill people when misused. I have no objection to letting the general populace take computers for a spin without obtaining a certain minimal skill-set that would equate to "tech-savvy". On the other hand, you SHOULD have a reasonable understanding of physics and the limits of your auto-technology before being allowed to operate a car. Just because we do let dumb people drive, doesn't mean we should.Making computers more accessible to dumb people is laudable, but it has made the internet less enjoyable than it was 15-20 years ago...


Bad programming can really really kill you; working in Software programming for hospitals and machinery, I can tell you first hand, that a computer can most definitely kill you when misused or not fully understood. A simple computer bug can kill you nowadays.

For example, if a car's ECU starts injecting more fuel instead of cut it when you hard-break, that won't turn out right (not exactly the best description, but you know what I mean).

Cheers!
April 25, 2012 6:24:21 PM

YukaBad programming can really really kill you; working in Software programming for hospitals and machinery, I can tell you first hand, that a computer can most definitely kill you when misused or not fully understood. A simple computer bug can kill you nowadays.For example, if a car's ECU starts injecting more fuel instead of cut it when you hard-break, that won't turn out right (not exactly the best description, but you know what I mean).Cheers!

I qualified my comment with the word "readily", those who are not tech-savvy are unlikely to be developing code for computer platforms, however a casual car user puts those in adjacent vehicles in danger quite readily.
April 25, 2012 7:03:31 PM

LOL my GF thinks shes a tech savy yet shes clueless on hardwares in computers. So shes a prime example of all other "supposedly" tech savvy people when they arent! Smartphones and Tablets arent even considered tech savvy because they were simplified for simple user inferface how the hell do that make you a savvy when it was dumbed down to start with. IF you can FIX things technical wise then you are SAVVY period. anybody can pick up photoshop and start screwing around same goes for facebookers. Seriously, now I see why people are dumb due to those labels to make themselves feel smart when in reality mentally disabled people are actually smarter.
April 25, 2012 7:25:39 PM

It's not about what you think you know, it's about what you know you don't know...
April 25, 2012 8:20:01 PM

I figured this article about be about how most students don't know how these piece of equipment functions. They just go along with "Magical". To be honest, I think this should be taught to everyone, needs to be common knowledge, like how a combustion engine works. I may not know the function to a T, but I know enough to understand it.
April 25, 2012 10:22:54 PM

What percentage of students know how to program?
April 26, 2012 3:59:48 AM

I know there's a few kids in my academy who know little to nothing about computers, and my academy is all about computers. We only have a few kids who have a bit of programming knowledge. We even have some idiots too, I've asked one of them what operating system they were running and he said Dell.
April 26, 2012 6:44:56 AM

"Tech savvy" doesn't mean you only know how to post on Facebook and Twitter.
!