Not All Today’s Students Are 'Tech-Savvy'

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A new study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, claims that the notion of the younger generation being ultra tech savvy just isn't true.

"Our research shows that the argument that there is a generational break between today's generation of young people who are immersed in new technologies and older generations who are less familiar with technology is flawed," says Dr Jones. "The diverse ways that young people use technology today shows the argument is too simplistic and that a new single generation, often called the 'net generation', with high skill levels in technology does not exist."
 

NickJames

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That's because so many older people think anyone with a cell phone and PC is instantly a tech genius.
 

FrEaKy

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This is due largely in part to the Universities and Technical Schools that they go to. They have a quicker grasp of newer technology, but unless they learn about things they cant go beyond initial usage.

Schools here where I am, only teach what gets them past the A+ Cert, after that, its a free for all crap shoot.
 

Ripperjack

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Given how the complexity of popular console games has gone down to "press button A, to view cutscene", I'm not surprised today's young generation are not as savvy with tech, as us old time gamers. Back in the day when you have to config your own autoexe.bat and config.sys files, just to get your DOS games working.
 
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What is tech savvy?

I find that most people can't do things that I wouldn't consider as being tech-savvy things.

Like setting up their web email( (google, hotmail, yahoo etc.) on their new smart phones or downloading music/pictures/videos on their smart phones, installing ms-office on their computers, setting up a new printer (plug in power & plug in usb how hard can that be these days?), setting up a excel spreadsheet...I don't consider these things tech savvy.


Most people do not have the patience to read instructions.
Almost everything that your average person considers to be tech savvy things is really just basic stuff that can be learned by typing in "how to .............." on google and you'd find countless answers and video on youtube on how to do it.

Tech savvy maybe would be calling me over to configure your home/devices for wireless access and setting up your router or maybe writing your a c++ program.
 

eurin

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Knowing how to use something that was designed to be easily to be used by all demographics does not make one tech-savvy.


Do people really need a study before they understand that?
 

PensFault

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Well, just look at how many of them roll a mac and it's not that hard to believe the outcome of the study. Macs are for my grandma who can bust a nut on a typewriter/pen and paper. Being trendy and tech savvy are 2 different worlds entirely. Most of the kids that come out of college and start work in the companies I consult for are so incompetent they make you wonder just how it is that our civilization will survive another generation.
 

John1701

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Knowing how to use something that was designed to be easily to be used by all demographics does not make one tech-savvy.

I've always thought that computer electronics are like automobiles, in that almost everyone uses them, but many have no clue how these things work, and are not capable of any kind of maintenance or repair.
 

Budzman

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Just cuz some little puke has a cell phone to play with that their parents got em doesn't make them tech savvy or smart.
 

eurin

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Also, most apple users I've ever seen also fail to understand this. When it comes to tech, they're luddites to me, but to themselves they feel tech-savvy. The latest and greatest purchases help them keep up this self envisioned persona.
 

swalters

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Not surprised. I've seen my younger brother using the computer. I'm the only tech savvy person in my family. This "net generation" just knows how to use Facebook and surf the web for porn.
 

the-one1

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Just yesterday my boy (11 yrs old) was having internet connectivity issues on his laptop. I told him to reboot it and he points to the little protruding pin on the laptop that senses when the lid is closed, "Is this the restart button"?
I looked at him and said "Don't you know how to restart the computer"?
I was about to take the damn thing away from him!
 

lilbabycat

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I call them the iphone generation. I know it's not exclusively the fault of Apple, but it is the best "icon" of this generation. Clueless people who think "if it's broke, buy a new one". I have no faith in humanity; i won't be completely "old man" about it, but I will say that the world of idiocracy is looking more and more like a near future.
 

nutzo

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Knowing how to use something that was designed to be easily to be used by all demographics does not make one tech-savvy.

+1

Just because someone can press the messaging button on thier phone and type a few (misspelled) words does not make them tech savvy.

Good example is setting up an iphone/android phone for exchange.

The tech savvy users don't need to ask me for anything more than maybe the web URL.
(mostly Android users)

For the less savvy, I email them instructions on what to put in each field (you windows login name, your password, etc.)
Mix of Android and iPhone users

For the Tech challenged, they bring me their phone and I set it up for them :(
Almost all iPhone users.

I leave Blackberry users out of this list, since they have to ask me for a password to activate the phone on our system. Then it's just a simple email address/password setting, but even then I've had to setup the occasional phone.

I've seen no correlation between age and tech savvy in my office, except among some of the managers, which fall into the much older category.
 

nutzo

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Also, most apple users I've ever seen also fail to understand this. When it comes to tech, they're luddites to me, but to themselves they feel tech-savvy. The latest and greatest purchases help them keep up this self envisioned persona.

+1

Most users buy Apple because they think it's trendy and easier to use.

They point out how easy it is to use iTunes, iMovie, etc., and they can be if you live in a very narrow Apple centric world.

Give them a video or picture in a different format and most of them are lost.
It’s the difference between using a microwave warm something up and actually knowing how to cook from scratch.
 

Skripka

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Most people do not have the patience to read instructions.

Most manufacturer supplied instruction manuals for most devices are so poorly written that they don't tell you anything. See ANY instruction manual for ANY Garmin GPS device for an extremely frustrating example. I usually take a cursory look at instructions before just doing things myself, as the "instructions" are worthless. I just installed a new USB WiFi dongle, never looked at the instructions just went to the manufacturer website downloaded drivers ran the EXE and plugged the dongle in.

The only computer-related items with informative instructions you need to read are waterblock instructions.
 

Ski

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Let's see all you guys grow up in West Baltimore, then say the same bullshit you all are regurgitating now, then I'll shudup....
 

PensFault

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If anything it's akin to a drug fix. "Must learn the bare minimum as fast as humanly possible to get to my special place." So in a sense they have the capability, but their target is supremely jacked up.
 

Gigantopithecus

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I see this frequently from my students. They don't know anything about computer hardware or how to fix simple software issues. Worst of all, their Google Fu is usually weak. They should be naturals at finding information on the internet but they're not.

It’s the difference between using a microwave warm something up and actually knowing how to cook from scratch.

Good metaphor.
 

Gabriel

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Back in the day when you have to config your own autoexe.bat and config.sys files, just to get your DOS games working.

Too bad I was unsuccessful at running Ultima 7: SI and Ultima Underworld 2 with sound, even after editing those files many many times on a Packard Bell with Windows 3.1.
 

/usr/sbin

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Given how the complexity of popular console games has gone down to "press button A, to view cutscene", I'm not surprised today's young generation are not as savvy with tech, as us old time gamers. Back in the day when you have to config your own autoexe.bat and config.sys files, just to get your DOS games working.

autoexec.bat
 

SpoonMaN-EQ

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The thing that really pisses me off is that half of the people I see in the software test field dont know anything either. so the product turns out like crap, pisses the general public off and nobody who knows wtF they are doing will want to work at the dev firm.

and thats the people who should know things about tech, that doesnt include the outside world that worships their iphone and mocks anyone who may not hold their views on how evil "Micro$oft" is, or how their PC doesnt work how they want it to.
 

Ashbringer

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Given how the complexity of popular console games has gone down to "press button A, to view cutscene", I'm not surprised today's young generation are not as savvy with tech, as us old time gamers. Back in the day when you have to config your own autoexe.bat and config.sys files, just to get your DOS games working.

I have to admit, the complexity of games is probably what drove me to technology to begin with. I too remember editing my autoexe.bat and config.sys to get optimal performance. Get the CD ROM driving going, and installing proper VESA drivers for my S3 graphic card. All to get my crummy Pentium 90 machine to play Quake.

Though today a lot of blame has to do with the public's perception on geeks and technology. If you own a iPhone and an iPad you're considered a nerd, but a cool nerd. A Windows user would be the equivalent of a Xbox 360 nerd.

Tell people you use Linux and like to play with source code and people will think you're building a bomb or something. Something in the realm of "ultra lame nerd". The tech-savvy Apple and Microsoft users are what I would call "functionally illiterate". They may know how to operate the device to some degree, but past that it might as well be a magic box of fire to them.
 

xxEIEIOxx

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The whole generalization does not work. I think a lot of lazy people use the excuse of being "old" to not want to be bothered to learn how to do something. And no, I am not picking on old people, I am moving closer every day to becoming one of them.
 

snowcrash

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Config, autoexec.bat, and QEMM were about as far as I got in computers. I know all about hardware and building computers and installing Windows. That is it. My inability to learn computer languages put an end to my IT/Programming aspirations.

I think it still holds true today just like before. You personally have to be interested in knowing about computers to be proficient in the field. Your parents can only take you so far but it's their responsibility to make sure you know about it and not be afraid of all things tech.
 

Azphira

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Given how the complexity of popular console games has gone down to "press button A, to view cutscene", I'm not surprised today's young generation are not as savvy with tech, as us old time gamers. Back in the day when you have to config your own autoexe.bat and config.sys files, just to get your DOS games working.


I guess that's why I seen on a forum for Rage, where people were crying murder because they had to make a rageconfig.cfg

Having to create it brought me back fond memories of autoexec.cfg in quake and batch files with SET SST_GRXCLK.
 

Weenis

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I still get annoyed with myself when I realize that people can't do shit on computers.

All of us probably have a propensity to surround ourselves with individuals who are either technically savvy, or are quick learners... and we forget the rest of the world is filled with tards.
 

Makaveli@BETA

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Too bad I was unsuccessful at running Ultima 7: SI and Ultima Underworld 2 with sound, even after editing those files many many times on a Packard Bell with Windows 3.1.

This quote and the previous one so many memories man i feel old and i'm only 31.

I agree with all of you the new gen kids are lacking in tech skills its quite sad.

My brother is 10 and a good padawan learner by the time he gets to highschool i'm gonna have him 5 years ahead of them skill wise.
 

mrtheshaggy

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The tech-savy nature of young engineers is non-existant. Just go to a CAD class and watch young people completely baffled about how to do something as simple as extrude a cube.

Computer technology has integrated with pop culture to create the illusion of tech saviness among the young and hip. When in reality the only thing younger people know how to do is play games on their iphone and ignore class lectures due to a desperate attempt to define self worth with facebook on their macbook.
 
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Given how the complexity of popular console games has gone down to "press button A, to view cutscene", I'm not surprised today's young generation are not as savvy with tech, as us old time gamers. Back in the day when you have to config your own autoexe.bat and config.sys files, just to get your DOS games working.
I remember making boot floppies for DOS games, fun times indeed. Most people know how to use technology at a very basic level but don't have a clue how it works. BTW I still use .bat files daily to auto launch programs, although that is about the stretch of my programing skills other than a touch of Java, VB, C, and Perl but not enough to write anything other than a simple program in any of them. That's why I just got out of IT and into logistics and international business.
 

ktk_ace

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Well, just look at how many of them roll a mac and it's not that hard to believe the outcome of the study. Macs are for my grandma who can bust a nut on a typewriter/pen and paper. Being trendy and tech savvy are 2 different worlds entirely. Most of the kids that come out of college and start work in the companies I consult for are so incompetent they make you wonder just how it is that our civilization will survive another generation.

THIS.
 

thewooster

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Having just recently finished college, I guess I thought this was a no-brainer. I think a lot more goes into this than just age, various demographics and such. I actually ended up helping quite a few people with incredibly basic computer issues (especially the supposedly tech savy mac crowd).
 

HardwareSearcher

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Most of the kids that come out of college and start work in the companies I consult for are so incompetent they make you wonder just how it is that our civilization will survive another generation.

Then there are people like me that saw first-hand the people you are talking about, shook my head (as it was not that they were naturally incapable, but rather that they just didn't care to try...at anything), kept working hard and excelling beyond them in almost every way. Yet...I STILL cannot get interviews myself. Were you by any chance talking about people working in the HR departments?
 

lilbabycat

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Let's see all you guys grow up in West Baltimore, then say the same bullshit you all are regurgitating now, then I'll shudup....

What in the [H]ell does that have to do with this story at all? Also, HAH for growing up there, what a shithole. (I live in NE Baltimore).
 

RooK

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well of course not all students are tech savvy... its still the norm to need "managers."


/me ducks... then stands up and punches the thrower in the nose.
 
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