Let’s face it. If you want to have a successful, well rounded life in the 21st century, you need to be digitally literate. By the time most children have reached their teens they have become experts in the social aspect of computer usage. However, this does not make them experts in the functional side of computer literacy. Teenagers are apt to argue that they can easily use any program thrown at them. And arguing, as any parent knows, is another area that most teenagers are accomplished in. The fact is, without the proper training, they are less likely to have the skills to use programs for functions such as word processing and creating spreadsheets, to their maximum potential. Teenagers are going to need these application skills in the very near future when they become college and universities students.
Teenagers and Internet safety
Another aspect of computer literacy that is extremely important for all teenagers is Internet safety. We have all heard of devastating situations that have resulted in tragedy. Internet bullying and identity theft are just two examples of the dangers teenagers face. One of the first things we teach our children is street smarts like “stranger danger”. Not helping them attain digital security awareness is like neglecting to teach them the safety ABC’s. Teaching teenagers Internet safety and security has to be given the same amount of significance as the street smarts lessons we gave them when they were going off to kindergarten. Not having these skills can leave your teens more open to this new world of dangers. Completing a certification program like the New ICDL which generally incorporates better practices, plus now offers a Security Module, can help. Your child can gain tools and understanding to help him or her recognize dangers and adopt better practices to mitigate hazards opened through poor habits while using the Internet.
Proper computer skills will improve the quality of teenagers work
How many times have you asked your teenager to get going on his or her homework? They usually respond with something like “I’ll do it later. I have lots of time”. Then you catch them up late the night before it’s due, rushing to complete it. By this time the goal is completion, not quality. You know that this is going to happen even more frequently when they are away at university. The first time they are trying to complete an assignment that is due the next day, they don’t need the added stress of trying to figure out how format their work in their word processor or spreadsheet. Knowing how to complete a spreadsheet before they begin work on a project will give them considerable advantage. The actual assignment content becomes the focus, not the word processing or spreadsheet program. The quality of their work should be much better.
Giving teenagers a head start through computer literacy certification
Putting teenagers through the New ICDL program while they are still in high school gives them a head start. The New ICDL program is organized in a way that makes it easy for all ages to navigate. It is an internationally recognized program. In Europe, some schools have made the program mandatory for their students. The New ICDL consists of a series of Modules. There are 4 levels of digital skill development. Level one is Digital Inclusion which is reached by completing two Essentials Modules. Level two, Digital Literacy, is reached by completing the four Base Modules. Level three, Digital Competence, is reached by completing the four Base Modules and three or more Standard Modules. Level four, Digital Expertise, is achieved by completing a Standard Certification and one or more Advanced Modules. To learn more about the ICDL Modules click this link.
The New ICDL confirms teenagers attained computer literacy
The New ICDL program is set up so that students who apply themselves can succeed. They learn at their own pace. Diagnostic Tests for each Module are available so that students can find out what areas they need to work on.
It is up to the individual student to choose what level they want to set as their initial goal. Once achieved they can then again go further as they choose. Many students continue on from level to level. After completing the first few modules, they feel empowered by their new skills. School assignments are easier to complete and look more impressive.
As parents, the first thing we want to provide for our children is safety. Then, we want to give them all the tools we can to help them succeed in life. We want to empower them. Putting teenagers through the New ICDL program while they are still in high school gives them a head start. The gift of computer literacy will be one that they can grow their entire lives. Computer Use is a new essential skills aspect of 21st century education. To find out more about choosing the right program go see Which New ICDL Program is Right for Me?
Cara Jones – ICDL Staff Writer