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computer literacy

noun
1.
basic, nontechnical knowledge about computers and how to use them; familiarity and experience with computers, software, and computer systems.
Origin
1975-1980
1975-80
Related forms
computer-literate
[kuh m-pyoo-ter-lit-er-it] /kəmˈpyu tərˈlɪt ər ɪt/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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computer literacy in Technology
education
Basic skill in use of computers, from the perspective of such skill being a necessary societal skill.
The term was coined by Andrew Molnar, while director of the Office of Computing Activities at the National Science Foundation.
"We started computer literacy in '72 [...] We coined that phrase. It's sort of ironic. Nobody knows what computer literacy is. Nobody can define it. And the reason we selected [it] was because nobody could define it, and [...] it was a broad enough term that you could get all of these programs together under one roof" (cited in Aspray, W., (September 25, 1991) "Interview with Andrew Molnar," OH 234. Center for the History of Information Processing, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota).
The term, as a coinage, is similar to earlier coinages, such as "visual literacy", which Merriam-Webster (http://m-w.com/) dates to 1971, and the more recent "media literacy".
A more useful definition from (http://www.computerliteracyusa.com/) is:
Computer literacy is an understanding of the concepts, terminology and operations that relate to general computer use. It is the essential knowledge needed to function independently with a computer. This functionality includes being able to solve and avoid problems, adapt to new situations, keep information organized and communicate effectively with other computer literate people.
(2007-03-23)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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