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  1. #1
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    Define "Tech Savvy"....

    What do you think it means to be tech savvy? I'm curious what level of skills are required to earn that title. I've heard people say they're tech savvy because they can use email and have shopped online. Others mean that they can build a computer from scratch. What's your definition? What skills, applications, level of competence do you need to know to be "tech savvy"?
    "Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle."
    --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1813.

  2. #2
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    For me, knowing more than the few applications and programs I've had to learn on the job for work-related reasons. Also having the competence to troubleshoot and fix or at least diagnose minor problems.
    "Even when I've f*&%ed up, I've spun it into a learning experience that's brought me to bigger and better things."

  3. #3
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    I would not consider being able to find things with reasonable facility on the internet to make one especially tech-savvy. Any monkey can Google.
    "Even when I've f*&%ed up, I've spun it into a learning experience that's brought me to bigger and better things."

  4. #4
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    I wouldn't even define "building a computer from scratch" as tech savvy. I've done it, and it's really not difficult at all. Buy parts. Plug them in. Hit power button. In the old days it was a lot less user friendly and you could really screw stuff up and fry something, but it's kinda idiot-proof now.

    I wouldn't have the foggiest clue how to put a webpage together, for instance. Or really put together a home entertainment center. But I could go online and figure it out. I think the key to tech savvyness is at least having the drive or the basic knowledge to figure it out. There will always be new things, new technology, and the tech savvy are the ones that don't have difficulty recognizing where it came from.

    The opposite of tech savvy are the people that just don't get it. They put DVDs in upside down. They don't know how to turn the TV on unless someone else shows them how. They just haven't been exposed to the technology and aren't really very interested in it, either.

  5. #5
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    Previous post reminded me...in my mind, being tech savvy requires an interest in staying updated with the newest thing. Unlike myself, I'm more a "what can I get by with not knowing to accomplish x basic task. I'm more utilitarian, not the person atop the latest trends in tech, or even interested in them untill the point at which they personally affect me. I'm not a person who's concerned with staying up to date just from a personal interest viewpoint.
    Last edited by wordsmith; 06-29-2007 at 11:41 AM.
    "Even when I've f*&%ed up, I've spun it into a learning experience that's brought me to bigger and better things."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bocheezu
    I wouldn't even define "building a computer from scratch" as tech savvy. I've done it, and it's really not difficult at all. Buy parts. Plug them in. Hit power button. In the old days it was a lot less user friendly and you could really screw stuff up and fry something, but it's kinda idiot-proof now.
    Oh no. It's not idiot proof. It may be 'general public proof', but it's far from idiot proof. We still get computers in all the time that some guy built himself and can't figure out why it doesn't work. Hard drive's not plugged in, too low a wattage power supply, took the transfer compound off the heatsink when installing the CPU, put transfer compound on the socket, didn't use standoffs to keep the motherboard off the backplate, bought an incompatible CPU for the motherboard...etc.

  7. #7
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    Hmm, I like that "know how to figure it out" definition. For me, I think there are three levels. Basic: The Users. You know how to use different technologies, but you couldn't alter anything or fix it if you break it. Intermediate: The Independents. You know how to transfer the skills from one tech thing to another. You might not know every program or have every techie skill, but you have the base of knowledge to learn how to do it on your own. Advanced: The Creators. These are the people who know how it all works. They can take it apart, switch it up, trouble shoot it and make it do other stuff.

    I would say I'm pretty much intermediate. I know a variety of programs, I can use a mac or pc, I know how to make a basic web page (well, in HTML and I can use Dreamweaver (who can't?), but I also know how to write the code by hand if something buggy needs to be fixed... or I at least know enough about "what's that thing called to make it do that?" and look it up). I can manipulate graphics in photoshop and the like. I can play with Illustrator and Flash, but I wish I knew it better. I know how to find stuff on the computer, I can fix the wireless network if it goes down. I don't know any programming languages or advanced web design and I don't really feel comfortable taking apart the computer (I zapped one a few years ago and I'm just afraid of breaking it). I did install an ethernet card once a few years ago... back when computers didn't ALL come with them, or mine didn't anyhow.
    Last edited by capella; 06-29-2007 at 11:35 AM.
    "Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle."
    --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1813.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by capella
    I can use Dreamweaver (who can't?)
    I can't. Because I never have. Because I've never had any reason to.

    Which pretty much illustrates my personal concept that being tech savvy requires at least an interest in exploring things beyond just what you need to get by.
    "Even when I've f*&%ed up, I've spun it into a learning experience that's brought me to bigger and better things."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsmith
    I can't. Because I never have. Because I've never had any reason to.

    Which pretty much illustrates my personal concept that being tech savvy requires at least an interest in exploring things beyond just what you need to get by.
    I just didn't want to sound like that's soooo cool, you know Dreamweaver?!?!? Ha. Because it's really not at all different than using, say, Microsoft Word IMO.

    I do think that you're right, though. Exploring things or at least having the desire to know how to do more stuff is integral. I haven't really kept "up-to-date" on new technologies pretty much because I know I can't afford the cool, new stuff and I'm not so masochistic that I care to torture myself with it all.
    "Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle."
    --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1813.

  10. #10
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    I think there needs to be a small distinction made between "lack of interest/need" and "lack of funds." New technology ain't cheap. I say this because I'd love to put a home entertainment system together, but I'd never buy all that crap to do it. I'm interested as hell in it, and would love to put someone else's system together for them, but the end product isn't worth the cost for me. Same thing with computers. I love putting computers together, and it interests me, but that inherently implies that I have to buy new parts each time. So there is new technology that I refuse to be too concerned with simply because it's not interesting enough for the cost.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bocheezu
    I think there needs to be a small distinction made between "lack of interest/need" and "lack of funds."
    For sure. I'm just talking about the people like me, who are more, "I have limited things I need to know how to use."

    For me, I need to be able to word process, to run desktop publishing layout programs, do all things relating to basic digital photography with digital SLRs, to be able to manipulate and color correct photos for standard newspaper publication, and enough web knowledge to do certain topical research, e-mail, and update our newspaper's website with a particular program that involves mainly cutting and pasting Word documents. I wouldn't consider that this must-have background makes me especially tech savvy, though.
    "Even when I've f*&%ed up, I've spun it into a learning experience that's brought me to bigger and better things."

  12. #12
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    I think I know pretty much what Capella knows, maybe a little more software, maybe some more details because I used all that software on a regular basis at work. I think I'm moderately savvy. I'm also pretty aware of user trends.

    I don't like that my job depends so much on my knowledge of this software because I don't like having to be that up-to-date about it all.

    According to my co-workers I'm a computer expert, but that's all relative to what they know, which is very little.

  13. #13
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    I'm actually a little nervous that I don't know enough for my job. I feel like I need to subscribe to PCWorld or something like that. If I'm going to be making training on technology, then I should probably have a good handle on that technology, eh? For example, I wrote a lesson yesterday about how to make a digital video presentation for class (this lesson was for students based on the ISTE NETS standards for students). I spent a considerable amount of time researching this thing or that thing. Maybe that's just par for the course with my job. I don't know. But I wish I just knew this stuff off hand... I just haven't had to know it well enough to teach it before. It's new territory for me.
    "Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle."
    --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1813.

  14. #14
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    Technology's always moving (in flux? ) so dont worry about having to research. You will always have to research and even then there might be something you havent heard of it. Honestly, the fact that you spend the time researching is a good sign.
    "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -- George Orwell

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by and1grad
    Technology's always moving (in flux? ) so dont worry about having to research. You will always have to research and even then there might be something you havent heard of it. Honestly, the fact that you spend the time researching is a good sign.
    I'm sure you're right. That does make me feel a little better. I guess I'm just a little insecure about what I know and what I don't know when it comes to technology. I never felt that way about teaching language arts or writing, but I had a really good background in that and it's not always on the move. Grammar rules don't change every 6 months, LOL! I guess my boss wouldn't have hired me if she didn't think I had the skills. Hundreds of people applied for my job. HUNDREDS. Someone even called to inquire on my first day of work. I need to have a little faith I think.
    "Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle."
    --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1813.

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