Technology skills are not taught or assessed as a separate curriculum in my district. However, Iâ€™ve read that one goal of No Child Left Behind is that students specifically demonstrate â€˜technological literacyâ€™ by the end of eighth grade. Is this actually the case?
Yes. One of the additional goals of Title II, Part D is: â€œTo assist every student in crossing the digital divide by ensuring that every student is technologically literate by the time the student finishes the eighth grade, regardless of the studentâ€™s race, ethnicity, gender, family income, geographic location, or disability.â€
School districts must carefully evaluate this goalâ€™s impact on their current practices related to teaching and assessing student technology use skills. Questions that must be raised include:
- Does the district have standards for student technology skills?
- How are these skills introduced and maintained?
- Does the current infrastructure support instruction that will lead to mastery of these skills?
- Is the staff prepared to teach these skills, whether they are embedded within the existing curriculum, or taught separately?
- How will technology literacy be assessed?
Additional questions will need to be asked and districts may need to make significant changes in their approach to classroom technology use in order to meet this goal.
Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young
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