There is no doubt about the fact that computers have become an indispensable part of our lives. Thus, there is no escaping computers as these devices are everywhere from schools to offices to homes to community centers! While modern generation kids are automatically able to operate computers and play games on it, it is definitely beneficial to have your kids master some basic computer skills. Being adept at using computers is must in today’s times because computers can carry out the day-to-day functions with complete ease and convenience. Thus, one can make one’s life much easier when one is proficient at using computers.
This summer, instead of letting your kids while away their time playing games on the computer or surfing the net for hours on end, it is advisable to teach or train your kids to master some useful computer skills. Your kids might oppose this idea now, but they will be thanking you for it in the future!
The top 5 computer skills recommended for children are as follows:
1. Touch Typing
Keyboards are not just found in computers but in other devices like smartphones, tablet computers and so on. In other words, this is a tool that is used for driving all other technology. Thus, the most important computer skill that your kids should master would be typing. Gone are the days when the ‘hunt-and-peck’ typing was acceptable, today it is useful to be able to touch-type (average speed is 41 words per minute), i.e. type accurately without looking at the keyboard.
Touch typing is a skill that is easy to master if you have the grit and time. You can begin by taking a typing speed test to determine your typing speed at Ratatype – good website that offers a simple yet effective typing speed test.
You can then take a touch-typing course online or offline (through a software program) and test your typing speed along the way to see a gradual improvement in the same!
2. Excel Sheet or Spreadsheets
There might be a lot of time before your kids start working, but it doesn’t hurt to master the art of using Spreadsheets or Microsoft Excel. This skill would also help them in case of part-time jobs as most of the employers don’t consider candidates who do not have basic Excel skills. You can get your kids to learn how to keep track of data in this type of program and use basic formula and graphing functions. You can also have him keep track of his pocket money or allowance and expenditures in a spreadsheet to get him/her to become more comfortable in using the program.
3. Word Processing
Just as it is important to learn how to use spreadsheets, it is also important to learn Word Processing. After all, Notepad isn’t the best program to use for creating static content. Instead, you should encourage your kids to learn how to use Microsoft Word. Some of the skills to develop in this regard are page numbering, adding footnotes, adding tables, adding pictures and formatting the text around the picture, changing the font styles and size, etc.
4. PowerPoint Presentations
PowerPoint presentations are a standard tool for group meetings, public lectures and so on. While your kids may be still too young for these, but it is definitely going to be helpful for him if he learns how to make a simple PowerPoint presentation at his age. You can begin by training your kids to make slides that work as effective visual aids, instead of documents that are copy-pasted from the internet.
5. Basic Computer upkeep
It would be a shame to know how to use various computer programs such as MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint and so on but have no idea about the computer hardware. Educating your kids about basic computer upkeep is a must as this would help him/her later on. Your kids should be well-versed with major computer parts such as Motherboard, Speakers, Monitor, USB ports, DVD drive and so on. It is also helpful to teach your kids how to plug each hardware into the right USB port or jack. Other basic computer upkeep skills that your kids should develop are replacing the printer cartridge, scanning for viruses, updating software programs, basic troubleshooting, researching on the Internet and so on.