PRECOLLEGE COMPUTER LITERACY: A PERSONAL COMPUTING APPROACH
Moursund, David G.
It is generally agreed that all students should become computer literate, but no definition of computer literacy has gained widespread acceptance. This booklet defines computer literacy in a manner that can guide educators as they work to implement universal computer literacy through precollege education. This booklet is an updated and expanded version of a paper, "Personal Computing for Elementary and Secondary School Students," prepared by David Moursund for a computer literacy conference held in December 1980 in Reston, Virginia. The conference was organized by the Human Resources Research Organization and the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium. The purpose of the conference was to help participants gain an increased understanding of the meaning of computer literacy and what can be done to help students become computer literate. This booklet is intended for curriculum specialists, elementary and secondary school teachers, media specialists, teachers of teachers and others concerned with curriculum in precollege education. It defines and discusses computer literacy for elementary and secondary school students. The approach is via an analysis of personal computing and the aspects of computers that can have a direct impact on students. Students can be personally involved with computers through computer assisted learning, computer assisted problem solving, the study of computer and information science and through the use of computers for entertainment. Students can learn how computers are affecting the world of business, government and industry-and thus, how computers will be part of their future. Each of these aspects of personal computing contributes to the definition of a set of goals for computer literacy in elementary and secondary schools. The resulting overall goal is for a working knowledge of computers-that is, knowledge that facilitates the everyday use of computers by students. This knowledge lays a firm foundation for future learning about computers and for coping with the inevitable changes that will occur in this technology.