Students and Their Computer Literacy: Evidence and Curriculum Implications
For a number of years, education authorities have responded to the importance of school students developing computer literacy by including it as part of the school curriculum, directly as a cross-curriculum capability, and by assessing the extent to which students are computer literate. Computer literacy and related concepts, such as ICT literacy, are defined so as to include both technological expertise and information literacy. Assessments of computer literacy, even though they vary, indicate that there are substantial variations in levels of computer literacy among students in the lower years of secondary school. In technologically developed countries, approximately one half of Year 8 students demonstrate proficiency, or advanced proficiency, in computer literacy, but up to 10% have very limited computer literacy. Assessments of computer literacy can also provide the basis for progression maps that could be used to inform curriculum development. Those progression maps will be more valuable if the frameworks on which they are based become more strongly integrated with each other. In addition, computer literacy appears to be influenced by student background, including familiarity with computers, as well as the emphases placed on it in classrooms and schools and the support provided by ICT in education systems. At present, there is less information about school and classroom influences on computer literacy than there is about student background influences. In the immediate future, the construct of computer literacy may need to accommodate increasingly to changes in software and hardware contexts in which it is manifested.
KeywordsComputer literacy ICT literacy Asessment Curriculum
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