Why did the student fail their online state test? Because they did not know how to ‘Ctrl+Alt+Delete’ their mistakes? 

Why did the student stare at the computer screen for hours during the state test? Because they didn’t know how to press ‘submit’! 

It’s that time of year again. TESTING! Libraries, computer labs and teachers are getting ready to equip their students to do well on their state tests. 

Is your state testing online? As more and more states, such as Texas, move towards administering their standardized test online, it has become increasingly important for schools to prioritize digital literacy education. Many schools in California, since 2014, have had students take online exams. 

Some may say ‘But wait, our students today are digital natives and already are digitally literate.” Online exams will be fine. Last week we talked about why technology computer curriculum needs to be taught starting in Kindergarten. This week let’s look at why with the implementation of online testing for most starting in third grade, it’s essential to teach.

Access to technology is not enough. Digital literacy refers to the ability to use technology effectively and efficiently to find, evaluate, and communicate information. Students need to know how to find relevant, accurate information, know how to cite sources and understand the difference between actual research and a blog.

Learning to use shortcuts, spreadsheets, presentations and documents is just the beginning. While many students may be familiar with using technology in their daily lives, they may not possess the skills necessary to navigate the complex digital environments required to successfully complete state tests online.

Here are some reasons why schools need to prioritize digital literacy education for their students:

1 – Troubleshooting. Since the pandemic, many students have access to digital devices and the internet, but are not using them in the classrooms to further their digital literacy skills. Students need to know how to navigate the various digital platforms and tools used for testing, as well as how to troubleshoot technical issues that may arise.

Last week I was talking with a high school librarian about this issue. She says students end up flocking to her library because they are having trouble with the software, or the device. Basic troubleshooting is not taught and practiced on a regular basis. She is expected to troubleshoot with every student. Hundreds a day can come in.

This is valuable time that is wasted. 90% of the issues can be fixed by the students if they were taught.

2 – Efficiency and accuracy in using devices and software. Students who are not digitally literate may struggle to complete the tests within the allotted time, or may make errors due to unfamiliarity with the digital environment. Last year when I proctored our school exams, even in a school that had a one-to-one environment, students did not know how to accurately and efficiently run their own devices.

Digital literacy was looked over for robotics and other exciting technologies, which are also significant to offer. Yet not at the expense of teaching digital literacy skills. 

3 – Digital literacy is a critical life skill. Learning how to write a proper email, type with accuracy, grammar and punctuation checks, formatting, understanding digital security and privacy, and troubleshooting skills are a must in today’s world for success.

Knowing how to create presentations that are readable and engaging helps in academia as well as future jobs. I’ve had to use HTML and markups when I was a Group Life Pastor and had to input material into our client facing software. As a volunteer now, I use HTML for our church webpage.

In conclusion, as more states and schools move towards administering their standardized tests online, it is essential for schools to prioritize digital literacy and have a technology computer curriculum that is easy for teachers to teach and implement into their classrooms. 

What is Beyond Technology Education’s Technology Plus Curriculum? Developing computational thinking skills for all grades in order to equip students today and in the future. 

Principals often find it hard to incorporate digital literacy and computer science into their busy curriculum .

BTE has created world-class/dynamic curricula and training to make technology instruction and integration effortless where we raise digitally literate students and teachers who also have a foundation in computer science.

So, principals can relax knowing students are equipped with these tools to compete in high school & college as well as the ‘future of work’


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An Introduction To Dr. Long From Long Educational Services
Thank You, Teachers!
Studies at Beyond Technology Education
Unlocking the Potential of Title II & IV Funding






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