Appendix D
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Fluency: What Do All High School Students Need to Know?

Paul Resta

ICT ELEMENTS

I believe the elements of the ICT fluency framework are still relevant and appropriate. It will be important, however, to compare the elements against other elements that have been developed. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2003) identified a number of skills that should be considered in a review of the initial framework for ICT literacy. These include: self-direction, interpersonal skills, accountability and adaptability, and social responsibility. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) has also developed a new assessment for ICT literacy. It has defined the following seven proficiencies for ICT literacy (Educational Testing Service, 2005).

Access: The ability to collect and/or retrieve information in digital environments. This includes the ability to identify likely digital information sources and to get the information from these sources.

Manage: The ability to apply an existing organizational or classification scheme for digital information. This ability focuses on reorganizing existing digital information from a single source using preexisting organizational formats. It includes the ability to identify preexisting organization schemes, select appropriate schemes for the current usage, and apply the schemes.



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ICT Fluency and High Schools: A Workshop Summary Appendix D Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Fluency: What Do All High School Students Need to Know? Paul Resta ICT ELEMENTS I believe the elements of the ICT fluency framework are still relevant and appropriate. It will be important, however, to compare the elements against other elements that have been developed. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2003) identified a number of skills that should be considered in a review of the initial framework for ICT literacy. These include: self-direction, interpersonal skills, accountability and adaptability, and social responsibility. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) has also developed a new assessment for ICT literacy. It has defined the following seven proficiencies for ICT literacy (Educational Testing Service, 2005). Access: The ability to collect and/or retrieve information in digital environments. This includes the ability to identify likely digital information sources and to get the information from these sources. Manage: The ability to apply an existing organizational or classification scheme for digital information. This ability focuses on reorganizing existing digital information from a single source using preexisting organizational formats. It includes the ability to identify preexisting organization schemes, select appropriate schemes for the current usage, and apply the schemes.

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ICT Fluency and High Schools: A Workshop Summary Integrate: The ability to interpret and represent digital information. This includes the ability to use ICT tools to synthesize, summarize, and compare information from multiple digital sources. Evaluate: The ability to determine the degree to which digital information satisfies the needs of the task in ICT environments. This includes the ability to judge the quality, relevance, authority, point of view/bias, currency, coverage, or accuracy of digital information. Create: The ability to generate information by adapting, applying, designing, or inventing information in ICT environments. Communicate: The ability to communicate information properly in its context of use for ICT environments. This includes the ability to gear electronic information for a particular audience and to communicate knowledge in the appropriate venue. I think it is important to review the 21st Century Skills and ETS ICT literacy elements to determine if new elements should be added to the fluency framework. ASSESSMENT OF FLUENCY In addition to the assessment instrument developed by ETS, it will be important to consider the use of more authentic and performance-based measures to diagnose and assess the extent to which a student has mastered and integrated the three aspects of fluency: intellectual capabilities, concepts, and skills. Such an approach may require the use of multiple forms of evidence, including student products and performances. Such an approach should not represent an “add-on” to the present assessment process, but rather a rethinking of the assessment process to more tightly couple core content knowledge with ICT fluency. PEDAGOGICAL PRACTICES We should also discuss perhaps the greatest challenge to achieving ICT fluency, changing pedagogical practices. Implementation Considerations, Chapter 4 in Being Fluent, advocates a project-based approach to developing FITness and recognizes that lecturing about fluency is not an optimal form of instruction. This idea needs expansion to more fully develop the

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ICT Fluency and High Schools: A Workshop Summary pedagogical implications of helping students achieve ICT fluency. It should offer recommendations and strategies to teacher education institutions to help them prepare a new generation of teachers who are able to foster ICT fluency in their students. The importance of providing blended learning environments—face-to-face and online— should be discussed as an important element in helping students become fluent. Electronic collaboration is changing the ways that work is accomplished, and electronic proximity increasingly represents the new workspace. Schools need to provide opportunities for students to work effectively in both the classroom and online environments. CONTEXTS Fluency is best developed when students are engaged in authentic tasks, in authentic contexts, using authentic 21st century tools. Apprenticeships, internships, and service learning programs enable students to apply their academic and ICT skills in real-world settings. Such programs require developing more flexible scheduling and close collaboration with local businesses, industries, medical facilities, engineering firms, and other organizations. Providing such opportunities will enhance the ICT skills of all students, but they will be particularly important for minority students, individuals with disabilities, and students from economically disadvantaged families. Service learning may also be used to help students develop fluency as they engage in meaningful service to their schools and communities. In this context, students apply their academic and ICT skills to solve real-world issues and problems, working with adults as partners in the process. I offer examples of such programs: the GenY Program, in which students assist teachers in technology use and support the technology functions of the school (Arizona Learning Interchange, 2005); and the Microsoft High School Intern Program, in which students are exposed to technology and encouraged to pursue high-tech professions (Microsoft, 2005). Such efforts will go far toward strengthening the connection between schools and workplaces and will enable students to develop a deeper level of

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ICT Fluency and High Schools: A Workshop Summary understanding of the importance and ubiquity of technology in the work place. REFERENCES Arizona Learning Interchange. (2005). GenY: “Y” students are with teacher to change education. Available: http://ali.apple.com/ali_sites/azli/exhibits/1000609/ Resources.html. [accessed October 27, 2005]. Educational Testing Service. (2005). ETS ICT literacy assessment. Available: http:www.ets.org. [accessed September 27, 2005]. Microsoft. (2005). Microsoft high school intern program. Available: http://www.microsoft.com/College/highschool/highschool.mspx. [accessed September 27, 2005]. Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2003). Learning for the 21st century: A report and MILE guide for 21st century skills. Tucson, AZ: Author.

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