Before the computer became an ubiquitous tool in the home and workplace, these used to be the realm of computer engineers and experts. In the past, you could only find computers in laboratories and universities, and only programmers have the skill to use these. Today, computers are virtually everywhere—at homes, offices, and even outdoors, with portable computers being inexpensive and accessible.
With the younger generations practically being raised on computers, you would wonder why computer education is necessary at all. However, even if one would often expect students to learn computers by themselves, it’s still a good idea to have them started with the basic and important concepts before they even start learning from video games and other less productive activities. Computer study in school often involves various subjects and applications. Oftentimes, these are word processing, programming, and basic layout or design.
- Word processing. Word processing is often one of the basic computer-related subjects taught in school curriculums. This is usually in conjunction with other literary-related subjects, such as language. Word processing also involves skills that students might find useful later on in their professional lives, such as correspondence, typing, and even other writing-related subjects, such as journalism and creative writing. This fosters not only the skill of typing and laying out words on screen and on paper, but also the development of creativity in terms of content.
- Programming. Apart from encoding, basic programming can also be included in schools’ computer-related programs of study. Different programming languages offer different functionalities and flexibility. But the main training that comes with this is logic and analytical thinking. Students are taught how to use programming languages to express logical arguments, and use these in creating meaningful applications, no matter how basic.
- Design. Great designers are usually individuals who have the artistic inclinations even before they touch a computer mouse and keyboard. However, being able to apply one’s artistic talents on the computer would help boost one’s creative tendencies. Schools usually let students dabble with simple design applications, such as photo-manipulation software like Photoshop. These skills can help develop a liking for design and the arts in general, and can help hone a student’s skills in manipulating graphical and design elements on a computer.
- Research. Another important skill that students can learn through computers is research. The Internet is a rich resource of information. However, not all information that can be found online is valid and true. Therefore, schools can train students on the right methodologies of research and information-gathering, particularly those that are done online. Apart from this, students would also need to learn how to properly cite and quote research material found online.
- Higher learning. Apart from the basic skills that can be taught with the help of computers, schools and learning institutions can also offer courses and programs of study that cater to higher learning. Engineering and Computer Science departments, for example, can offer bachelor's or graduate degrees in programming, computer engineering, and the like. These academic programs can help develop future entrepreneurs, developers, engineers, and other professionals in the field of technology and the Internet.
Computer studies should be an integral part of any school’s curriculum. These help develop basic skills that students will find useful in their professional life.