We do need to teach our students -- or at least the students in my school -- computer applications. The first month in my Webmastering, CS I and PreAP CS classes are mostly computer applications.
Kids today do figure out a lot of "computer stuff" on their own. They certainly could figure out a lot of the things we generally teach in computer applications courses. The problem is that they don't. I gave placement exams for a computer applications course for years and very few, perhaps 10%, of those who thought they "knew it all" actually knew enough to test out of the course.
Source: Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson : Do We Really Need Computer Applications Classes?
My students got quite a bit of computer applications in grades K-6. At least one of the feeder schools does a fabulous job.
However, the kiddos get one semester of computer literacy in middle school, usually in 7th grade.
The low income kiddos no computer access from that time until they hit me. If they haven't forgotten what they have learned, the applications have progressed and they don't know how to use them.
We spend a week on common web applications -- email and searching. A week on word processing, a few days on spreadsheets, and on power point. I finish the unit with a project. The kiddos are to shop for their "Dream Computer", and create a word document, presentation, and a spreadsheet supporting what they want to buy. The even more fun part -- many parents DO go out and buy the system the kids want, or one similar.
I believe a student can't use an IDE well, if they can't use a word processor. I also think that all CS students should be able to do a simple spreadsheet -- that's why I have them comparison shop -- they have to at least come up with totals.
I go a bit further with the web kiddos -- they have to publish their products on the internet. Real life things that web creators have to do.
We also have a lot of kids that were NOT educated in our system. Most of them are non-English speakers and many haven't touched a computer until they get to us. These kiddos go to a local credit keyboarding class and then BCIS. After that, I'm happy to have them.
So yes, we do need to teach computer applications in high school and will probably have to have a few sections for the non-English speakers of keyboarding then applications. Otherwise they will be victims of the digital divide.