My Journey in Computer Literacy

My Journey in Computer Literacy


Even before I started school, I had a lot of interest in reading andwriting, and I can remember vividly the way used to struggle withwords from the fun books that my father brought home. I always lookedforwards to the day I would be reading large volumes withoutdifficulties. Any time my dad would be reading anything I would clogaround him and ask endless questions about picture and texts. The dayI went to school opened the doors to comprehension and on everylevel I thought I had known too much only to be proven wrong at thenext level. My parents were not very strict on the materials I readbut unconsciously, I concentrated on class work. The only thing Iventured away from class work was when I was reading my children’sbook or pieces of newspaper.

My father brought in a computer when I was in fourth grade. I hadseen people using the machine to type and watch clips, but the ideahad not visualized that it would happen with me. Due to his longoffice hours, my father decided to shift some of his work into thehouse, and I was fascinated by how he would punch buttons and make atext appear on the screen. The first impression I got was how themachine could consistently present a text in a clear mode unlike inmy school books. As Wesch (2007) puts it, the digital text is easy toread and manipulate. Learning how to use it became my next objective.

My father encouraged me to get to use it, and I could sit in front ofthe screen typing irrelevant things at least 5 hours in a week. Bythen, I thought I had known a lot about how to use a computer byknowing how to type my name and my parents’ names on the screen.However, I did not realize that the computer’s use can extend overa long list of activities. According to Prensky, starters always taketechnology for granted due to their oblivion of the tasks they cancomplete using the computer. Our teacher introduced us to computersin fifth grade where we learned basic skills in typing our names andother simple things we learned in class. One difference I noted washow the computers we had in school differed in size with the oneowned by my father. I almost had doubt of the similarity in theirfunctioning, but I came to realize that the function the same way. Ienjoyed these moments because I always stood out in speed andaccuracy although I still remember how I struggled to find the rightkey on the keyboard.

As I progressed in school, the teacher introduced us to other uses ofthe computer like the internet. It was something new since I had notexperienced it at home. Since most of his work was typing documents,he rarely used the computer for any other purpose. When I told himabout it, he talked about internet connection that we should have inour house to access the web. Every progress I made in learning provedthat there was so much to learn about the machine. Initially, Ithought one would access the internet with any modifications becauseI thought the machine was self-sufficient. Fortunately, he madearrangements for us to have an internet connection, and the worldmade a significant turnaround for me.

The two learning environments, both at home and din school,facilitated fast acquiring of skills since I would practice what welearned in school during the computer literacy classes at home.However, the teachers did not give us ample time to exploit the manyuses of the computer since their instructions hardly veered from theprimary objective of their lessons. I felt that they should allow usfree time to use the computers to quench our thirst for knowledge.The mere mentioning f the things that one can with a computer withoutgiving them a chance to explore them only leaves a feeling ofdissatisfaction.

Today, I can do a lot of things with the computer both at home, inschool or the cyber cafes in the streets. Some of the things Ilearned about using the computer were out of personal efforts andgetting information from friends. The increased exposure I got atschool from friends instigated me to continue exploring, and Irealized that I spent half of my time sitting in front of the monitorusing the internet. I hardly used the basic applications that myfather taught me unless I had a class project to type. The use of theinternet fascinated me to the extent of my parents complaining aboutmy behavior.

The first computer that my father purchased for his use at home isstill functional. However, it now looks out fashioned with theemergence of the portable flat screen monitors. My childhood view forit’s the most dynamic machine continue t fade gradually asencounter powerful and fast computer in my friends’ homes and onthe internet. I once convinced my father to buy a new model, but hewas very reluctant since the old one satisfied all his needs. Anattribute that is familiar to the young people is that we are verydynamic ad we want to move with the trend. We want to have the besttechnology in the market to keep pace with our peers.

I also assist my father a lot with the computer with the use of theinternet. Although he has the skills, he always asks forclarification on an instruction given on the monitor. The childhoodteacher has become the student. His area of work does not expose himto dynamic uses of the computer. Also, his tight schedule bars himfrom using most of his free time in front of the computer discoveringthe news things it has to offer. My parents are a bit conservativeabout the uses of a computer, and they approach every applicationwith a lot of skepticism. As Bauerlein put it, learners do not usetechnology effectively, and they believe that they are doing theright thing always. Whenever, my father finds me reading somethingnew n the internet, he cannot believe it is beneficial unless Iexplain to him how it can impact on my life positively. My siblingsrely on me a lot to help them with core competencies, but I believethat with the basics, they can explore on their own with littleguidance. The time ahead will have a big number of people accessingthe computers. I concur with Prenskey (2010) who calls for balance inusing technology. There is a need to develop a guided and controlledapproach n how to use them to avoid raising apt technology childrenwho have no social skills.

Despite all advantages that accrue to the utilization of a computer,most of us spend ample time reading irrelevant things, and this leadsto time wastage. It is ironical that we put most of our work in ourbooks but spend more than half of our time on the screen. Bauerlein(2010) provides information that more than 55% of learners spend lessthan one hour every week reading their books. He proposes theinclusion of educational materials in the online platforms.I think itwould be constructive for the curriculum developers to consider thisand put more content online for the students. According to Prensky,learners spend more than 50% of their time online. Therefore,secondary and college students need customized materials that areappealing to them and allow them interactive online sessions withpeers and teachers. It would help them remain focused since they aretechnology receptive.


Bauerlein, M.(2010). Are They as Savvy as They Seem? Frontline. Retrievedfrom

Prenskey, M.(2010). What Makes Digital Text Native. Frontline. Retrievedfrom

Wesch, M. (2007).The Machine is using us. Youtube. Retrieved from