Americans love technology, but that doesn’t mean they know how to use it. When it comes to solving technology-based problems, Americans may be falling behind other tech-savvy countries like Japan, Sweden, Finland, and Norway, according to a recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics. In fact, out of 18 countries studied, those four countries topped the chart, while America ranked dead last.
According to Fast Company, the study analyzed technology-related problem solving skills in adults between the ages of 16 and 74. In the 1970s, the United States was known for the high educational standing of its workforce, but since 2000, America’s technological skills have started lagging behind.
The Wall Street Journal explains that 80 percent of unemployed Americans have trouble identifying errors when data is transferred from a spreadsheet to a graph. And even so-called “digital natives”—younger people between the ages of 16 and 34 who grew up using digital technologies—ranked behind their peers in other countries when it came to using digital technology to evaluate information. “Just because you’re a digital native, doesn’t mean you’re tech savvy,” Linda Rosen of Change the Equation told The Wall Street Journal.
The study, according to Marc Tucker of the National Center for Education and the Economy, shows the need for an increased emphasis on technological problem-solving in education. It also goes to show that an enthusiasm for the latest technological gadgets doesn’t necessarily translate to increased technological literacy.
[h/t Fast Company]