I found this a interesting read. I had no idea and never thought about the way computers are used by today's kids is so different from the way I learned to use computers.
It’s the same year that posts began to pop up on STEM-educator forums asking for help explaining the concept of a file.
Ford agrees. “These are smart kids,” she says. “They’re doing astrophysics. They get stuff. But they were not getting this.”
The article tries to make 2 arguments at once and often conflates them: Having a huge unorganized collection and being forced to use search engines, and not understanding basic concepts like what a file is.
But the issue is likely not that modern students are learning fewer digital skills, but rather that they’re learning different ones.
Understanding Instagram, whatever that means, being able to open Google, Youtube, Tiktok and type keywords, or programming 1-2 Excel macros does not make one "computer literate." Given sufficient training, other animals or AI can do it. One sign of intelligence is not memorizing how to perform single tasks, but adapting, learning and overcoming new challenges.
I don't believe the situation is as bad as the article claims or applies to most students. Many people incl. young people are perfectly capable using both structured files & folders or unstructured mail inboxes with 5000+ emails, and also local/online search engines.