Closing the Digital Gap: Tech Access for All Students

By Inland Empire Success | June 17, 2024

Tech Skills Are Your New Best Friend!

In today’s world, you constantly use your cell phone to check social media, watch videos, and connect with friends. However, as you prepare for college and the business world, it’s important to become familiar with other types of technology too.

If you’re a student planning to attend college but are concerned about your technical proficiency, don’t worry. Plenty of tools and resources can assist you. In today’s digital world, computer skills are essential not only for succeeding in college but also for thriving in the modern workforce. 

Why Technical Skills Are Important

Computer skills are crucial for many reasons. In college, you’ll use technology to complete assignments, conduct research, collaborate on projects, and much more. After graduation, most careers require some level of digital literacy, whether it’s using office software, managing data, or communicating online. Being proficient with technology sets you up for success in both your academic and professional life.

Essential Tools for College Success

To ensure you’re ready for the digital demands of college, here are tools and resources you need:

  1. High-Speed Internet Access: Reliable internet is fundamental for completing assignments, participating in virtual learning, and accessing online resources. If you don’t have access at home, consider using your school’s internet, local libraries, or community centers that offer free Wi-Fi.
  2. Modern Devices: Having a laptop or tablet is crucial to complete college applications and, once at college, a variety of assignments and online courses. If you don’t have one of these devices, check if your school offers a loan program, or seek guidance from local organizations that provide devices to students in need.
  3. Educational Software and Applications: Familiarize yourself with tools like Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, and learning management systems (LMS) such as Google Classroom or Canvas. These platforms are widely used in both high school and college.
  4. Technical Support: Don’t hesitate to seek help. Many schools offer technical support services to assist students with their devices and software. Your teachers or school IT staff can provide valuable assistance.
  5. Online Learning Platforms: Websites like Khan Academy, Coursera, and edX offer free or low-cost courses on various subjects. These platforms can help you build your technical skills and knowledge in other areas.

Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Computing Skills

Here are practical steps you can take to improve your technical skills and prepare for college:

  1. Use School Resources: Take advantage of any technology classes or workshops your school offers. Use your school’s computer labs if you don’t have access to a device at home.
  2. Join Community Programs: Look for community centers or libraries that offer free computer classes or internet access. Nonprofit organizations may also provide free or low-cost technology training.
  3. Practice Regularly: The more you use technology, the more comfortable you’ll become. Start with basic tasks like creating documents, and gradually move to more complex projects.
  4. Ask for Help: Don’t be afraid to ask teachers, friends, or family members for help. Online forums and help desks can also provide support when you encounter technical issues.
  5. Use Online Tutorials: Countless free tutorials are available online that can teach you how to use various software and applications. Websites like YouTube have instructional videos on almost every topic imaginable.
  6. Join Tech-Related Clubs or Groups: Many schools have clubs focused on technology, such as coding clubs or robotics teams. Joining these groups can provide hands-on experience and connect you with peers who can help you learn.

Building Confidence with Technology

Building confidence with technology takes time and practice. Remember, every expert started as a beginner. By taking advantage of the tools and support available, you can develop the skills needed to succeed. Regular practice, seeking guidance when needed, and engaging in tech-related activities will boost your confidence and proficiency.

Technology Will Help You Succeed in College

Becoming tech savvy is about learning how to use the right tools effectively. By following these steps and using available resources, you’ll be better prepared for the digital demands of college and beyond.

Embrace the learning process, and take advantage of the support systems around you. With determination and persistence, you can overcome any technical challenges and set yourself up for success in today’s tech-driven world.

By expanding your tech skills beyond cell phones, you’ll be better prepared for the demands of higher education and the professional world. This technological fluency will not only make academic tasks easier but also open up new career opportunities in the future. We’re here to help.