Importance of Computer Literacy

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Students` Attitudes towards Computer: Statistical Types and their Relationship with Computer Literacy
Diana Saparniene
Siauliai University, Lithuania
Gediminas Merkys
Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania
Gintaras Saparnis
Siauliai University, Lithuania

ABSTRACT. The results of the diagnostic analysis on students’ computer literacy are presented in the article. The study involves students from Lithuanian universities and colleges (N=1004). Based on the study results attempts are made to identify and define the existing statistical types of students in connection with their attitudes towards a computer (emotional – motivational relationship with a computer) as well as to disclose some link with the factual computer literacy.

INTRODUCTION
As today’s society is becoming more and more dependent on new technology, increasing attention is given to computer literacy, which in the current information age is no less significant as was reading, writing and calculus in the 19th-20th centuries (Anderson, 1983). Like reading, which is sometimes rightly called by socialisation scholars ″the socialisation of socialisation″ or secondary socialisation, computer literacy becomes an essential precondition for successful socialisation and professional career. For this reason education, being an important factor in society development, plays an essential role in addressing the issue of literacy and in particular computer literacy.

Not accidentally computer literacy is increasingly widely addressed in research around the world as well as in Lithuania (M.Hayden, 1999; D.Johnson, M.Eisenberg, 1991; S.McMillan, 1996; A.Mitra, 1998; J.Oderkirk, 1996; R.Petrauskas, 1998; D.Saparniene, 2002, et al.). The analysis of the scientific literature has proved that the impact of psychological factors on computer literacy level has not been sufficiently studied. The impact of psychosocial factors on the computer literacy and its level was researched by M. Igbaria, A. Chakrabarti, (1990), A. Harrison, R. K. Jr. Rainer, (1996), G. A. Marcoulides, Y. Stocker, L. D. Marcoulides (2004), A.Brogos (2005), et al. However, despite some significant research contributions in the area, so far little attention has been given to the impact of non-cognitive personality’s traits on the computer literacy and its level, so far little attention has been aimed at answering the question “Does different attitudes towards computers lead to different levels of computer literacy”.

It is universally known that achievements of the academic work depend upon many sociopsychological and socioeducational factors. Besides the cognitive factors (intellect, general knowledge, attention, etc.), which are traditionally associated with academic achievements, in this perspective it is essential to analyze non-cognitive personality’s traits (emotions, motivation, interest, etc.) and their place in the context of computer literacy. Attitude is an inner psychic state influencing behaviour. Therefore, we can understand an inner state from actions and words. For instance, we may presume that a person actively avoiding a computer has a negative attitude towards it. Attitude is not an inborn, instinct phenomenon; it mainly depends upon person’s experience

and its impact in a new situation. Consequently, attitudes are formed in the process of experience and their change is possible due to the internal and external factors. Obviously the quality of computer literacy is closely related to one of the major attitude’s components – motivation. If a student is absolutely motiveless to work with computer, the learning result will not be optimal. A motivated computer user, even under unfavourable conditions, willingly works with computer. In everyday conception the level of motivation usually is measured by such notions as “time devoted to the work with computer” or “the degree of efforts”. Motivation approaches the pupil towards the object and increases his/her efforts in relation to the...
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