New Era, New Knowledge; Just Deal With It!

You have probably noticed that I leave the education topics to my partner in crime (co-author), who is the expert, and deal more with librarianship issues. There are, however, a few exceptions and this is one of them. The topic, as the title implies, is about the constantly evolving technology and the need to have some knowledge that will allow us to use it. The hidden concept is change. You know; it is the bad word that everybody hates and nobody wants to acknowledge!

We are in the 21st century, NASA scientists are working on an actual spaceship; warp speed; and beaming (did you know that?), computers are used and needed in every job, and information is digitized. Refusing to accept the above facts is like refusing to evolve. Granted that a lot of humans do not wish to evolve, there are some of us who do. Then, we hear the expression: he/she is old school. Really? Well, there is no old school. You move on or you stay behind. If you wish to stay behind, you need to retire and go home. If you wish to move on, you need to learn. This is called “continuing education”. Nobody knows everything or is expected to know everything.

The most important technology is the computer. It is used everywhere and is the piece of equipment that people from all occupations are familiar with. It is essential to know computer basics and be able to operate it. However, this is not enough. We need to have somewhat deeper knowledge that will allow us to troubleshoot and upgrade the computer, as well as use applications. We also need to know how to find how-to information online in order to get answers. Finally, we need to know how to use the internet in order to get legit information and avoid hacking and virus issues. To all the above, add the fact that technology evolves fast and we need to upgrade knowledge and equipment.

People may not have the money to upgrade equipment and software constantly but they can get the knowledge. There are free courses out there, physical and online. There are tutorials online and every piece of equipment and software has its tutorial. Also, there are some very nice books that start from the basics and go to more advanced topics. These books have illustrations and step-by-step instructions on how to perform each task. There is help out there but people must be willing to learn. There is no excuse.

In what we used to call third world there are millions of people today who can use computers. On the other hand, in the more developed countries there are millions of people who cannot set up an e-mail account or apply for a job online. Apparently, the “third world” people are more evolved and willing to learn and move on into the future, while the “developed world” people are moving backwards. Change is the main issue for the latter people. They are so comfortable with their current lifestyle that they don’t want to put the time and effort to evolve. What do they do? They accuse technology and progress for their laziness,  indifference, and fear of change. I have dealt with these complaints in my library. Although I was very polite and helpful, the “perfect librarian”, I really wish I could answer to these people: “New Era, New Knowledge; Just Deal With It!”


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