I had a fruitful discussion with one of the academic personnel last month on the evolution of the type of students that higher institutions may encounter. She told me that students nowadays are prone to be so dependent to their teachers or instructors on the steps that they should take to complete their tasks, projects or assignments. Even to the extent that sometimes, we had to teach them on how to Google. This is somewhat dragging the instructional process whence the search engine itself is getting smarter and smarter by its ability to predict the user’s pattern of search items.
Corresponding to her concern, I told her that through the new curricula that we are having at school right now (in Malaysia), I can see that the pattern will change in about another 5 to 10 years. This is because the syllabus was getting tougher, students hardly scored in their exams, yet their survivability to find solutions to the problems are more dynamic and creative than current generations. I said to her, wait for another 10 years. You’ll get to meet students that already equipped with Google language and most of computer interfaces because they were born with those machines surrounding them.
Apart from that, raising the millennial kids that having been watching me working with computers and machine languages ever since they were small had made me concluded the following 5 ways for novice users to learn computer science without fear:
- Knowledge in computer science is reusable. It is recyclable. So, if you have found a problem and not knowing on how to solve it, yes, you’ve guessed it right. Googling for solutions is not wrong. Chances are there are already about thousands other people that have faced the same problem as you do and care to share it online. The only thing that you need to know is on how to select the right path.
- Ask for help. Computer literacy is growing. There is always certainly someone else that knows on how to help you find a solution to your computer problems. So never shame to ask. Different questions might lead to different solutions. It is like our way of living. Different family had different members with different types of houses, decorations, food, and activities. So does this knowledge of computer science. There is always not a single solution to a repeating problem. Never afraid to improvised because computer evolves like people do.
- Study the history of computer. People say, you would not love someone until you get to know him/ her. Love grows by learning a person’s personality or background. Once you have found the similarity between the two of you, you might want to move forward with more than just an encounter. Perhaps good friends or mutual friendship would yield good outcome for you in the future. The same analogy goes to studying the computer. If you face a new subject, find its origin of development. From where it begins and how it has ended up in your plate in such a form. Then, you will know on how to act from there upon.
- A computer is an artificial presentation to a human’s brain. It means that, to understand a computer is to understand on how your brain works. If you wonder why at some point of your life you make different kind of decisions, the same thing goes to a computer. On a rainy day, you might want to use an umbrella to walk by the road side. In an extreme cold weather, you might want to turn up the temperature of your heater so that your body would feel warmer and at ease. The same thing goes to the computer. It works logically in accordance to mathematical formulas. There are instructions to follow and output to yield. There are decisions to make when met with crossroads. There are times to start up fresh, and time to sleep. Brain also undergoes aging. So does the computer. So work from this fact, then you know on how to handle the learning process of computer science.
- A computer has no emotions. So, apart from all other logic knowledge that you may think a computer can do, never expect a computer to weep and cry like we do. At times like this, the only thing that we should do is to have human connections. Lean over to someone that you fond of, like parents, best friends, siblings and alike on psychological supports and emotional strengths. As long as we could understand this demand, always remember that computer never feels what we feel in our hearts.
So, that’s it. Certainly there are other 1001 ways that you could motivate yourself to learn computer science without fears. Above all, the most important thing to remember is never let a computer or any machine alike to over rule your intelligence and decision making. These things always rely on us to navigate them for the right processes and not the other way around.
Celebrate the good and positive things in the future generations of this millennium that were born with computers and machines around them.