Some students don't understand the concept of computer files and folders

Aceseven

Posts: 89   +154
Schools in UK are removing analog clocks because some students (and these are high school kids) are having so much trouble reading them that it causes undo stress and anxiety.

Basic things that should be known and should be simple are starting to be phased out. This bit of news doesn't surprise me.
this, this is one of the saddest and depressing articles ive read in a long long time.

no violence or anything in it, but kids cant tell time on a regular clock or use pens and pencils? and it stresses them out when a normal clock is in the room? geez.
 

Ben1978

Posts: 126   +89
Exactly because they are surrounded by tech, they do not have to project ancient folder drawers, folder and files onto structures of data in their OS. They have quick search function. They do evolve and adapt to the environment so fast, the people remembering world without smartphone will have difficulty to understand and accept.
It is like saying, people using GUI can't even understand bash / DOS commands...
But if there's no file structure how do you remember what files you have? When I open a folder I have an idea of what's in it but not an exact one. And how exactly do they remember the name of every file to search for it?
 

quadibloc

Posts: 312   +205
Things change, and so files and folders aren't as important as they once were.

I can accept that, difficult though it might be.

I used computers before some classes of ordinary users got to save things on the hard disk: first, a PDP-8/e which didn't even have one, and then a 360/67 with punched cards through a student batch facility. So I remember my joy at being able to save files on floppy disks with CP/M, or on an Apple ][ or on a Commodore 64.

People who are going to be programming computers, particularly at the systems level, do need to be aware of directory structures. I use an FTP program to keep my personal web site updated, and it has a directory structure. Some people, even today, do need to know about this stuff, even if casual users are getting by without it.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 481   +783
Things change, and so files and folders aren't as important as they once were.

I can accept that, difficult though it might be.

I used computers before some classes of ordinary users got to save things on the hard disk: first, a PDP-8/e which didn't even have one, and then a 360/67 with punched cards through a student batch facility. So I remember my joy at being able to save files on floppy disks with CP/M, or on an Apple ][ or on a Commodore 64.

People who are going to be programming computers, particularly at the systems level, do need to be aware of directory structures. I use an FTP program to keep my personal web site updated, and it has a directory structure. Some people, even today, do need to know about this stuff, even if casual users are getting by without it.

My dad told me that having to deal with punch cards is what turned him off of using computers.

As for files and folders, you look at people's phones or see their desktop screen and it makes my eyes bleed with all the files scattered across the entire screen or across multiple screens on phones. I've got 2 folders on the second screen of my phone to house apps I use and files I download.

My last place of work it was nice knowing the location of files that the company used when things installed, it was so much faster just copying and deleting files, when you had to do things, through the command prompt over clicking and clicking and clicking and clicking....I do miss the days of dos sometimes.
 

Dr Roboto

Posts: 6   +9
To most youth of today knowing about and using files and folders is not needed. It is a low level functional need, just like bit twiddling when programming. Do power users need to know it, absolutely, but your average person does not. Us older people had to use files and folder because the higher level search tools did not exist at the start of the computer revolution. Seriously, stop and think about the last time that you actual used a filling cabinet with physical files and folders. Are you old enough to know that we actually had to alphabetize things by hand, ugh. I don't miss the old days at all.

When most of you life is spent on mobile devices just searching the internet and playing games, then there is no need for this kind of knowledge. However, as great as search is for finding things, it is only as good as your search terms. When you become a power user with 100's of files for many different projects, then being able to mange files and folders is required. Personally, even I fail to be able to find a file in all of my organization, and guess what I turn to? Yep, search.

However, I do have a problem with OS's not allowing you (power users) to natively access the file structure. It drives me bonkers that I don't know where my data is saved. I always end up having to install some 3rd party app to figure it out.
 

gamerk2

Posts: 600   +524
I said in the last 20 years, compared to before that, like 30-40-50 years, not 200 years ago.

Also education and intelligence while they do have common grounds they also have different ones.

There are a lot of "educated" people that believe in a lot of stupid/irrational or just wrong things. Access to knowledge and technology does not equal intelligence. It's what you do with that knowledge and technology that defines you as being more or less intelligent.

You don't have to believe me when I say the majority of people are more stupid now because of technology, because of ideologies and these so called politics, you just have to be alive 5 years from now and 10 years from now to remember how 2021 was and how worse it will be then...

Free unlimited access to information is, frankly, going to be humanities downfall. For all it's benefits, the Internet was a massive mistake.
 

waclark

Posts: 104   +66
People usually get on my case when I try to explain why I believe the Personal Computer as a mainstream device for the general public has no future, but stories like this is why: you underestimate just how many young people have no interest in computers.

In the past, even if most people could grow up without having to deal with computers at all many eventually got acquainted since it was a requirement for so many jobs but I also believe thin clients and tablets will quickly replace the work computer/laptop paradigm as well unless you're explicitly a developer of sorts: most office tasks like email, excel files, interacting with CRM or ERP systems, etc. Can already be done in a perfectly serviceable way with just a tablet so I wouldn't be surprised if most people's work will revolve around a docked tablet at best but often just a tablet device, certainly no need for a full operating system.

And as for home well, numbers don't lie: statistically most people online already don't have a laptop or computer at all and maintain their entire online presence through their mobile phones and tablets entirely, gaming and leisure fully contained on those and maybe a gaming console on top of it. It's hard to believe for people on a site dedicated to technology and focusing mostly on computers but overall we're the niche, the future developers: don't expect businesses that depend on computers being mainstream devices to continue for much longer it will be either really low or really high end devices with no middle ground and not a lot of these super convenient midrange systems we used to be able to purchase easily in the past.

I'm not really buying the premise of the article. Sure, we have devices that handle a lot of the heavy lifting, but, just about everyone on the planet understands some basic organization concepts. You have drawers or cabinets in your home. You don't just throw everything you own on the floor, hoping to find it later. We have buildings that have floors and rooms.

While your phone can look up an address, you still have an address and if nothing else, prior to the pandemic, every kid under the age of 21 has been to a mall where there are stores. Even going to the grocery store, you don't buy all your food in one package. Everyone doesn't live in the same house or even in the same neighborhoods.

Now a computer that can actually organize things in a meaningful manner while obfuscating the structure is not a bad thing. But there is still structure there and kids aren't that dumb to understand it. Organization structure is all around us and you can easily apply one or more of these analogies to computing.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,800   +2,152
TechSpot Elite
I don't really care if they know how a file system works one way or the other. I know how they work and I'll never have the problems that they're bound to run into. Understanding a file system will be an advantage over the masses who don't because fixing software issues and/or using game mods will always be easier for those who know how file systems work.
 

BadThad

Posts: 635   +682
I taught several courses at work to scientists that didn't know how to organize, manipulate and manage files. It doesn't surprise me today that the ignorant youth has no clue. Hell, the fools have fallen for socialism because of their ignorance.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,800   +2,152
TechSpot Elite
Exactly because they are surrounded by tech, they do not have to project ancient folder drawers, folder and files onto structures of data in their OS. They have quick search function. They do evolve and adapt to the environment so fast, the people remembering world without smartphone will have difficulty to understand and accept.
It is like saying, people using GUI can't even understand bash / DOS commands...
I dunno about you but Windows File Search isn't what I would call "quick". Windows XP had the fastest file search that I've ever seen and it's been broken ever since Windows 7.
I'm not surprised at all, unlike some people, I can clearly see how humanity is getting more stupid every generation, in general, as a whole.
Oh man, tell me about it. I couldn't agree more.
The trend is downwards and if identity politics, all the new *****ic ideologies, and all the other stupid things that exist and are pushed forward harder since the last 10-20 years - if these things are not signs enough, than those that don't see them are in the middle of the problem themselves.
Yep. The upward trend in anti-vaxxers is definitely something that comes to mind.
We will see worse and worse times going forward and there is no cure or stopping what's coming...
quote-you-can-t-fix-stupid-there-s-not-a-pill-you-can-take-or-a-class-you-can-go-to-ron-white-109-84-25.jpg

Smart-tech make people become lazy and stupid.
I was lazy and stupid LOOONG before smart-tech came around. :laughing:
You don't have to believe me when I say the majority of people are more stupid now because of technology, because of ideologies and these so called politics, you just have to be alive 5 years from now and 10 years from now to remember how 2021 was and how worse it will be then...
There is no question that what you're saying is correct. The only ones who would disagree are the young people themselves because they don't know any better.
I don't see an issue with this, say you're a studying medicine, art, literature, science... How knowing files and folders concept help you in any way?
Well, when I was in university, knowing how a file system works kept my work impeccably organised. Sure, XP had a REALLY fast file search but I only used it for finding game files that needed to be replaced for whatever mod I was installing.
That's the least of educational problems. Files and folders can be taught in 30 seconds. If they don't get it by then they have other issues
It's true. It's based on normal record-keeping practices. There's nothing about it that's rocket science.
It is, but only if you have the context for it: remember that the concept of file and folder literally comes from filing cabinets for physical papers. Do you know many people outside of an entrenched government bureaucracy that still uses those?

If you never even got familiar with the concept of a filing cabinet you used to order physical papers and started using documents since he point in history in which everything is 100% digital and you just name it and then later search that name then thinking about a filing cabinet to organize documents it's just alien: You don't need the abstraction you just need the name and being organized can be summed up with just having a naming convention for example: "Chemistry - Semester - Date & specific subjec matter here" is intuitive enough for most people to figure out without needing to know what's a documents folder and what are the sub-folders, etc.
Well, it does and it doesn't. A computer file system is based on directories and subdirectories. The idea of calling directories "folders" was probably based on people not understanding the term "directory" because they were older and more accustomed to the idea of paper file folders. I personally never understood the concept of calling directories "folders". I still call them directories.
Schools in UK are removing analog clocks because some students (and these are high school kids) are having so much trouble reading them that it causes undo stress and anxiety.

Basic things that should be known and should be simple are starting to be phased out. This bit of news doesn't surprise me.
That's just stupid. It's not hard to read an analogue clock. We've been reading them, as a species, for over 1,000 years dating back to the sundial. How will these people be able to read a speedometer?
This has been an issue for quite some time when it comes to doing math without a calculator.

My last job was tech support for POS provider - we had to troubleshoot hardware and software that was provided by my employer to the customers.

I can't even count how many times I've had a store call in because power was out or just came back up and registers weren't working.....employees that were on the other end of the phone didn't know how to figure out a customer's total without a computer or calculator. They couldn't figure out how to add, subtract or (a slightly more challenging one) add tax to an order without the register doing the math for them. Countless times when I'd be on the phone with these places the only one smart enough to do the math, 99% of the time, was the manager on duty. While I'd be trying to help these people resolve whatever issue was causing their system to not work, I'd also be doing the math for them in my head as they mumbled numbers while trying to write them down - this included the tax.

Why think for yourself when you can simply have a computer do it for you?
I couldn't agree more. Knowing how to perform basic math is an essential life skill. My generation (X) started using calculators in secondary school because by then, we all knew how to do basic math and trying to do things like trigonometry or square roots on paper would take up the entire class. Simple arithmetic is something that you should be able to do in your head. More complicated arithmetic should only require a writing utensil and paper.
Explains why they constantly screw up new OS releases pretty much.
No, they've been doing that LONG before this became an issue. :laughing:
Men had created so many conveniences and amenities that every new men would simply be ... consumers. What an achievement!
Well, to be fair, I'm sure that conversations like this occurred when people realised that the new generation didn't know how to make fire from flint and tinder.
Free unlimited access to information is, frankly, going to be humanities downfall. For all it's benefits, the Internet was a massive mistake.
I don't agree. I think that every time a revolutionary technology was introduced, a previous life skill that was once considered necessary became irrelevant. Like knowing how to make a fire or candles when electricity became widespread. We lost a few things but gained a tonne more. Sure, the intellectually inert might be more and more useless but the intellectually gifted have more tools to make the world better. Cars that drive themselves may make driving skills irrelevant but it would also mean the end of traffic fatalities. I think that's a fair trade-off. Sure people won't be able to drive but there's a tonne of people who already fit that description today. :laughing:
Were they aging in the US, they'd be in deep do-do, as part of the Medicare test for senility, requires that you draw a picture of an analog clock at a specifically stated time
Well I hope that they don't have reading cursive script as another test because they'd be really screwed then! :laughing:
 

brucek

Posts: 893   +1,293
The professor should have just asked if they knew about playlists and songs. Kids aren't getting any dumber, they just know what they need to know for what's currently relevant. This story reminds of the "study" showing declining memory capacity in children, because they couldn't remember phone numbers anymore - a study clearly authored by a professor so out of touch he or she didn't realize modern devices abstract the number behind a name or photo anyway.

It's not like there's literal folders on your SSD or other storage mechanism anyway. While they are a fairly direct metaphor for one set of historical data structures, those are not the only possible data structures and they are becoming less relevant over time. And even when they do exist as a GUI mechanism, they may not actually exist at the data or hardware level - take for example your "folders" in your Gmail account - while I don't work at Google I'm pretty sure the folders you see on your screen have nothing to do with the underlying physical storage.
 

m3tavision

Posts: 683   +449
that is complete bs what you have just written.
who is humanity? the majority or minority? do you really believe that 200 years ago humanity was more educated in general or that the most educated people were more educated than todays most educated people?
just the fact that part of the western population goes more consumer life style does not mean that the mankind gets more stupid in any measures. if something it might show the rotten educational system failing in its objectives or maybe it is just adapting to the needs so it is absolutely ok. most of the things I learned in schools is not needed in my life and I had to study the topics I was interested into on my own.


No, humanity was more educated 30 years ago, than today.... though. Humanity being/meaning the average US student.

Even a rebroadcast of old radio/TV interviews and personal recollection is illustrative of this. The average Teen and College grad, was more educated than today. Almost everyone knows this, except younglings who think they know everything, and done none of it.. AND FYI nobody cares what your interest are, only that you are well educated and a productive member of society. Taking care of your own..!



The point is:
Student need to learn.. and understand filing system and why they were invented and used..! It is knowledge... and one so logical that Other's who come afterwards, could use such a logical system to look things up and find what they need, intuitively.

Doing something with a different approach (as the Professor suggested), out of ignorance is unintelligent. Making something new, because you were not educated on old, is a waste of energy. That is why that Professor has failed his Students, because it doesn't take long to teach them about File System and how Libraries and PC work... it logical and easy.

5th grade stuff^... this Prof is just nann'ing his student and cow-towing to their ignorant cries.
 
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Lionvibez

Posts: 2,426   +2,045
Free unlimited access to information is, frankly, going to be humanities downfall. For all it's benefits, the Internet was a massive mistake.
I see your point. Because even if you have that much knowledge at your finger tips how to do decipher good information from bad?
 

BigRedPDX

Posts: 106   +91
For years we've been dealing with PC file structure. Why do people not know this? I know exactly where my files are located and I make a point of it when I'm training people. "Know where your files are!" It's easier for backup purposes and piece of mind when indexing completely fails you on your searches.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,985   +6,309
How can we expect people outside of IT to have a firm grasp on this? Thinking in specific structures is something that has to be taught.
Simple! How old are libraries? Send them to a library and have them find a book. The same concept applies to Files and Folders for PC.
 

ragreeen2646

Posts: 26   +9
No, humanity was more educated 30 years ago, than today.... though. Humanity being/meaning the average US student.

Even a rebroadcast of old radio/TV interviews and personal recollection is illustrative of this. The average Teen and College grad, was more educated than today. Almost everyone knows this, except younglings who think they know everything, and done none of it.. AND FYI nobody cares what your interest are, only that you are well educated and a productive member of society. Taking care of your own..!



The point is:
Student need to learn.. and understand filing system and why they were invented and used..! It is knowledge... and one so logical that Other's who come afterwards, could use such a logical system to look things up and find what they need, intuitively.

Doing something with a different approach (as the Professor suggested), out of ignorance is unintelligent. Making something new, because you were not educated on old, is a waste of energy. That is why that Professor has failed his Students, because it doesn't take long to teach them about File System and how Libraries and PC work... it logical and easy.

5th grade stuff^... this Prof is just nann'ing his student and cow-towing to their ignorant cries.
 

jdwii

Posts: 17   +23
Windows search is basically pointless I haven't used it since W7 so I have no idea how these kids can't know something so needed in 2021 on modern PC's unless they simply use their smartphone 24/7
 

rmcrys

Posts: 62   +67
I think I can summarize what's wrong here:

Each generation are getting lazier and everything is "there and works" and they "deserve everything". We are making a world for the young that they can order talking to the phone, they don't need to cook, they also order; they don't need to solder or even drive because machines do it, they don't even have to sweat playing football because they play on consoles; they don't meet friends physically or even have to think how relations should work or how hard they are, because friendships are online with thousands of possibilities; and in the future even a girlfriend will be ordered kind of "Cherry 2000 (1987)".

I am not exaggerating: I see most teens in Europe talking with friends over a smartphone (even when travelling on train or bus together, not saying a word with their mouths) and don't talk with their parents: Instagram, Facebook, tik tok and so on are addictive. If people (politicians, teachers, parents) do not create rules for it, the future are lazy adults that don't need to think, just social media and internet life...