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November 04, 2010 3:45 PM Is This Thing On?

By Daniel Luzer

What_Computer.jpg

No surprise: with the economy still just limping along, more and more Americans are returning to college. Interestingly, however, it’s not going so well. According to an article by Marc Parry in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

This lack of basic computer knowledge is an increasingly common predicament as community colleges accommodate workers displaced by the economic downturn….
Colleges are trying to bring people up to speed with basic computing classes that focus on material as simple as explaining the function of a mouse, says Saundra W. Williams, senior vice president and chief of technology and workforce development for the North Carolina Community College System.

Apparently many new college students, who are often older and may have worked at the same place for years prior to layoffs, simply don’t know how to use computers.

This should probably be put in some perspective. Computers, provided they’re fully working and reasonably new, are actually not hard to use. Basic computer literacy takes like two hours to figure out.

Still, the extensive nature of this computer usage problem may make, say, the magic of computer college a little less compelling. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer