More Than 75 percent of Fifth and Eighth Graders are Non-Proficient in 21st Century Skills, According to Study - Tech Learning

More Than 75 percent of Fifth and Eighth Graders are Non-Proficient in 21st Century Skills, According to Study

Research Demonstrates Access to Tools for Building Digital Literacy Skills Key to Closing Skills Gap  
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PORTLAND, Ore. – August 22, 2017 – We may think today’s students are digital natives, but a recent multi-year study by revealed that 75 percent of fifth and eighth graders are non-proficient in 21st century skills. The research, which involved more than 110,000 students taking’s 21st Century Skills Assessment from 2012-2017, measures the digital literacy skills outlined in the ISTE Student Standards. The company’s research also demonstrated that providing students with access to tools for building digital literacy skills is crucial for closing this serious skills gap.

“When we look at the test scores for this significant sample of students, it is alarming to see that the vast majority of fifth and eighth graders did not have the digital skills necessary for success in college and their future careers – not to mention high school, which is right around the corner,” said CEO, Keith Oelrich. “However, what we also see is that when students have opportunities to build those skills, proficiency rates soar.”

When the education technology company looked at students who had consistently used its digital literacy tools over the course over one school year, it found that overall, those who were more engaged with the digital literacy curriculum showed greater gains during the period of study.

In Texas, more than 10,000 eighth grade students from across 251 districts took’s 21st Century Skills Assessment. After working with the company’s tools during the school year, non users had gains in proficiency between the pre- and post-test of 4.6 percent, while consistent users had gains in proficiency of 20.1 percent, more than four times that of non-users.

As a result of a Texas statewide adoption, these students now have access to EasyTech,’s comprehensive K-8 curriculum. These self-paced, interactive lessons help students develop digital literacy and computational thinking skills. In addition, EasyCode Foundations and Pillars, provide a complete, turnkey solution for introducing students in grades three through eight to coding using a real programming language.’s digital literacy platform was certified as the only solution to address 100 percent of the Technology Applications Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TA-TEKS) state standards, which outline the digital literacy skills students need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.


Founded in 1999, currently partners with one in six school districts and serves five million students nationwide. provides K-12 solutions to help students, teachers, and schools excel in a digital world. Districts equip their students with the technology and 21st century skills needed for success on online assessments, college, and the workforce using’s digital literacy solutions.’s digital content tools help districts build and share custom digital curriculum helping them meet their instructional goals, facilitate personalized learning, and address budget challenges. Through implementation services and professional development, serves educators as they integrate technology and digital content into instruction.


Related Joins P21 to Support 21st Century Learning

WASHINGTON – Feb. 18, 2014 – The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) welcomes to the organization’s strategic council and the diverse cadre of education leaders, business community, and state and federal policymakers supporting student readiness for college, career, and citizenship. Launches ‘Inquiry’ to Prepare 21st Century Learners for Success in College and Career

Classrooms are increasingly moving toward project-based teaching methods to help students develop critical thinking, problem solving and other 21st century skills. introduces Inquiry, a project-based approach to integrating technology into core instruction. Specifically developed for K-8 students and created to support Common Core State Standards, Inquiry includes six core curriculum projects per grade level. Each project is based on a theme that continues from grade to grade, building on previously acquired subject-area knowledge and technology skills.