The need for a basic computer class

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A Keyboarding Class would Improve Efficiency

Opinion Story and Cartoon by Adam Vig

Over 87 percent of Americans own a computer, so it would make sense to educate everyone to be good at typing, using spreadsheets, operate simple commands, and knowledge of how to secure a computer. However, many students lack the knowledge of basic computer skills, essential in today’s world. To help Mount Vernon High School students succeed in an increasingly technological world, there should be a required class to teach basic computer skills such as typing, the use of spreadsheets, the use of basic commands, and to computer security and privacy.

The average typing speed for people is about 35-40 words per minute (about 200 letters).  After a person takes a typing class, their word per minute average would be closer to the 70-100 words per minute. If MVHS required a basic computer class that teaches keyboarding, then the students of Mount Vernon will have a higher word per minute average, which will help them to all computer-based work more efficiently.

Out of everyone that owns a computer, very few people actually know how to use a spreadsheet efficiently. People think that spreadsheets are just ways to list things, and that only businesses use them, but not many people know the mathematical purposes. Yes, spreadsheets are used for listing things, but there is a coding side to it as well. People can use formulas to quickly add numbers up between the rows and columns of a spreadsheet to show statistics, growth or decline, use data sets, and much more. If we required a basic computer class that taught how to use spreadsheets, then students would know how to formulate and work spreadsheets.

In using the internet, students often do not know the shortcuts for adding a bookmark, reopen previous tabs, spelling/ grammar check, and much more. Even some students in Mount Vernon don’t know the basic keyboard shortcuts. If we required a basic computer class that teaches the basics of computer commands, then students would know how to use their computer efficiently.

Over 10,000 cyber attack happen each day, and with that, over 10,000 users’ information gets stolen. Computer security and privacy are important things to know about in the 21st century. People need to know how to reduce their online exposure, and how they can increase their online security. If people knew how to put in privacy and security standards on their computer, then cyber attacks would be less common and the world would be a safer place. That is why we should have a required basic computer class that teaches computer security and privacy.

A required semester-long basic computer class is needed. If we want to make a difference in the world, computer competence is where it’s at. If it’s coding or spreadsheets, or computer design, learning the basics is where it begins and a class teaching the basics, but if there is no basics class then students will struggle later on. As we move on in the world we want to improve in the education of students, but without a computer skills class, there will be no improvement.