Tales of the Technologically Illiterate

Some people don’t get technology. I can understand that. I don’t either. But I can work my way around a computer decently. I thought that was a required life skill in our society. However, I think I was wrong.

I frequently get appellants who don’t know the first thing about computers. One sits on the corner of my counter that appellants use to fill out their appeal online, rather than on a paper form. It makes our work more efficient and makes my job easier because I don’t have to type it in later. But, I’ll admit: I profile people. Anyone who looks older than 65 or so, I will give a paper form to, rather than having them file an appeal online because they struggle with the clicking the typing.  But when students come in, I assume they have basic computer and internet skills. Sometimes, they don’t.

Take today, for instance. A freshman girl entered and told me that she had a ticket to appeal.

“Go ahead and fill out the form that is pulled up on that computer.”

“Where is says ‘citation number’ what do I put there?”

“You type in the citation number.”

“Oh, okay. And where it says ‘license plate number’, what do I put there.”

“The license plate number.”

“Oh. Oh, yeah. And then what do I do?”

“You click ‘continue’.”

“Where’s that?”

“In the middle of the page. Where is says ‘continue’.”

“Okay, so what do I do now?”

This continued for the next five minutes as I specifically walked her through every single step of the process, down to when and where to click, how to type, and explaining where each link on the page was located. I heard the phrase “Okay, now what do I do?” at least nine times.

How do students come to college without skills as basic as reading directions and using a computer?

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2 Responses to Tales of the Technologically Illiterate

  1. Rachel Dell says:

    HA! that’s terrible.


  2. Pingback: Illiteracy on the Rise | Jesslyn Ann Karenina

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