Good.Is recently reported on a study that revealed a startling technology statistic. According to Dan Russell, who studies how everyday people search for information online, 90% of computer users surveyed do not know how to use the CTRL/Command+F function! Admittedly, that includes even some of the Reset team…

What Does CTRL/Command+ F Do?

CTRL/Command + F allows you to quickly search for a word or phrase within a website or document.  [Control is the key on PCs, and Command is the key on Macs.] Go ahead try it – Hit CTRL/Command + F and search for “Reset” in this blog.

Yet CTRL/Command + F is more than just a cool computer trick – it has real life applications to the way people engage technology and use the Internet to learn and work.

Rather than reading through an entire document, you can just be directed to the information you are looking for. Extremely useful and efficient yet simple, right? Then why is it that 90% of computer users do not know about it?

Developing Technical Literacy Starts In the Classroom – With Teachers

While students are taught reading, writing and arithmetic, in the face of budget cuts many elements of basic education, including technology education, are being left behind. Part of the issue is that teachers often don’t always have their own tech knowledge to pass onto students – and you can’t teach something like CTRL+F from a textbook.

There are some tools, such as Google’s Teacher Academy, to help teachers build technology literacy. Although that is one step in the right direction, we are still a long way away from bridging the digital divide, which requires having the knowledge, hardware and universal access to the Internet. With fewer programs geared towards technology literacy and with only half of low-income households having a computer, there is a serious disparity of access to tools and information. This digital divide can inevitably hurt students’ future job opportunities.

CTRL + F is a good example. Students who do not know about the CTRL + F shortcut will take much longer to do research for homework. Employees who do not know how to CTRL + F search terms and phrases will take much longer to finish work projects — and, in turn, decrease productivity for the company. Concerned citizens who do not know how to use CTRL+F will have a longer and more difficult time scouring online public records and FAQ pages.

If teachers educate their students – and themselves – about simple short cuts and high-tech literacy skills, we’ll inevitably be faster, smarter and more efficient. And that’s a good thing.

Closing the Digital Divide Includes Developing the Knowledge

In a city as innovative and creative as San Francisco, teaching basic computer skills like CTRL/Command + F is an essential tool in our technology based economy. This all leads to a very true but very simple solution to many city problems: In order to improve our economy, education system and even city government, people need to learn how to CTRL+F.