Thursday, December 30, 2010

Third Part: 2011 - Year of Functional Literacy in the Cyber Age

Laptop computer, a must in college, office and in the home - soon.

Abe V Rotor

Today, to have a credit card or an ATM card is no easy task; much more if you have both. One must acquire mastery in their uses, and basic knowledge in accounting. But these are only tools used in countless transactions that include electronic marketing, now a booming industry. It is “armchair marketing” whereby all you need is watch the merchandise on TV and dial the number for your order.

• If there is e-marketing, there is also e-learning, that is on-line or distance education using the computer and other media. Here is a chance of increasing the level of literacy for those who failed to complete basic education, and those who aspire to learn more or even earn a degree. But first, one should have basic communication skills before he is admitted into the program.

• Medicines are no longer as simple as they were a generation ago, even if we have a law to label them generically, that is, to include the active principle in universal language. Prescriptions alone are difficult to follow, much more in understanding the mode of action and effects of the medicine. Paracetamol or Alaxan, is there a difference? I know of Cortal during my time. They are all to relieve headache, but why not take Ponstan or simply Aspirin?

• Appliances for the home and office are no longer as simple as switching on and switching off. How do we set the controls for temperature, timing, carbon dioxide level, fire alarm, light intensity? How about operating a camera monitor, microwave oven, automatic dishwashing machine? And we have not yet mentioned attending to their regular maintenance.

• A chauffer or driver, one hired by a family or an executive is required to know basic mechanics as a requirement in proper car maintenance. For his part too, he must learns the cardinal rules of human relations - courteous, respectful, diplomatic in many ways, yet on the other hand, secures the family or his boss from danger, a security guard, and an intelligence agent of sort.

• I have a friend who, like me, belongs to the so-called “old school. This is his confession. “I will e-mail you,” his insurance agent said, “as soon as I get to office.” My friend didn’t understand a thing about e-mail, he is computer illiterate. “May I get you e-mail address?” continued his agent. Still my friend said nothing. “Well, if you don’t remember it now, just text me. Okay?” “How stupid I felt,” my friend confessed to the point of embarrassment. “I guess you need to enroll in a crash program.” I said. He did.

• Opening a Blog on the Internet, is not that easy. But my daughter who was then taking up graduate studies in Information Technology, assured me. “You can do it, Papa.”

I almost gave up. Rather Anna nearly gave up hope teaching a sixty-sixer. Today my Blog is without any added item or two a day. Lately, I realized I haven’t tapped the newer features of the computer. For example, it says, “You can make money in your Blog.” I didn’t know I can compose music and play it on the Blog.” How about if I sing?"

My Blog says, “Certainly.” The next time I knew it, I already had a host of followers. Today I have more than 1,500 posted topics in my School on Blog - in just two years. I requested Anna, “Please unclog my blog.”

“Papa, you are already famous worldwide!” ~

Home, Sweet Home with Nature, AVR

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