MAPCON Maintenance Software Article Series

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Necessary Computer Skills for College Students

Lisa Richards, Educational Outreach Writer

Computers and computerized devices have become an integral part of society. In fact, many people use them in schools, homes, and the workplace. It has become imperative to know basic computer skills to survive in the world. In college, many students acquire basic computer skills that equip them with the knowledge to operate a computer, such as sending emails, conducting Internet research, creating word processing documents and creating presentations. The days of textbook only research and handwritten submissions are over. With the advent of web-enhanced courses, student must possess basic computer skills in order to execute commands in basic computer applications. These basic computer skills help students excel in college and eventually carry over with them into the workforce. Exercising and advancing computer literacy skills can also lead to greater opportunities.

Online Communication

College students use computers and electronic devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to communicate with their peers and professors at the college they attend. Many college courses require students to check their e-mail regularly for special announcements. Many colleges offer tutorial services via e-mail for students, making it an excellent resource for understanding the material without leaving the house. Social networking websites have also become a popular avenue for college students. In fact, many college organizations have utilized these platforms to promote academic and social events. College students who do not have Internet access may miss out on announcements, and important news events posted through the college"s website and e-mail system. Internet access also makes it easier to enroll into classes without having to wait in line for hours at the school campus.

Basic Computer Knowledge

Many professors require students to type their assignments or create presentations, which makes it imperative for students to have word processing and typing skills. Word processing programs offer a variety of features that may be useful to students, depending on the course. For instance, one class may require a student to type an essay with tables, graphs, and charts containing supporting data. Students can also use other programs, such as PowerPoint, to create slides that will accompany oral presentations and speeches. Many college institutions offer basic computer literacy courses for students who need to gain familiarity with hardware and software functionality. Students can also find tutorials with step-by-step instructions on learning computer basics without enrolling in a formal class.

Performing Internet Research and Using Search Engines

College students will need to hone their research skills, regardless of if they use a computer, textbook, or other publication to complete their papers, assignments, and presentations. Computers offer a vast array of information, making it an indispensable resource for completing assignments. In fact, many colleges provide online databases, such as ERIC and JSTOR, to help students conduct research at a faster rate. These online databases allow students to access journals and other academic publications for free. Students can also employ their research skills using search engines to retrieve robust information as they prepare to write their assignments. Students can find a vast array of authoritative resources at their fingertips when using the Internet, including reputable news outlets, nonprofit organizations, associations, and the federal government. Advanced research skills make it easier to retrieve information without having to spend hours sifting through pages at the local library.

Taking Online Classes

The popularity of online classes has surged in recent years. This also includes web-enhanced classes, which combine face-to-face lectures with an online component. In a web-enhanced class, a professor may use a web-based learning platform to store important course documents, such as the syllabus, that students must retrieve to pass the class. Students may also use these platforms to have online discussions and collaborate on assignments outside of the physical classroom. The opportunities for web-enhanced courses are limitless, which means college students must have the skills to use their computer and the Internet to participate in these courses. Failing to possess these skills may be the difference between a passing and a failing grade in these courses.

Additional Information

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