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The state of Michigan is taking action to ensure that elementary and middle school students across the state are equipped with the digital literacy skills to succeed – not only in school, but in college and careers. Through funding from the state legislature, more schools than ever will be eligible for’s comprehensive digital literacy curriculum – at no cost to the campus.

Why digital literacy?

Michigan’s commitment to digital literacy for elementary and middle school students isn’t just about navigating technology. It’s about preparing them for future success in school, college and careers. The Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, or M-STEP, requires students to navigate their devices with ease and comfort, so that they can focus their energy and attention on demonstrating their academic knowledge and critical thinking. With this online testing starting in third grade, students need to build foundational computer and digital skills even earlier.

“This tool has helped us to develop the technology skills that our students need to be successful with the M-STEP. We need to make sure the M-STEP is an accurate measure of what our students know and not a measure of their ability to use technology within a testing environment,” says Karen Flynn, Technology Integration Specialist at Ionia Public Schools.

In later grades, digital literacy will be essential not only for standardized tests but for essay-writing, online research, and digital presentations. Eventually, they will be the foundation for more advanced computer science skills such as coding and data analysis.

Regardless of whether students pursue careers in technology fields, they will almost certainly be required to navigate some form of technology in their daily lives and careers.

These needed digital literacy and foundational computer science skills include computer fundamentals, keyboarding, digital citizenship and online safety, web browsing, email and online communication, visual mapping, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentations, computational thinking, and coding fundamentals.

“’s interactive and user-friendly platform has provided our students the ability to excel in the digital world…. It has taught our students not only how to use technology properly but continues to develop skills to communicate, create, and analyze information,” says Mindy Bohan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment, Marcellus Community Schools. “From the beginning of the school year there has been a significant growth in our students in their digital skills.”

Expanding opportunities

Over the past four years, the Michigan K-8 Digital Literacy Program operated through a partnership between Sault Ste. Marie Area Schools and 

“Digital literacy skills are required for our students to demonstrate their knowledge in core academic content areas such as math, ELA, science and social studies. Through our partnership with, our goal is to ensure all students have the opportunity to acquire transferable digital literacy skills that will improve their success in school, college and career opportunities they may pursue in the future,” said Amy Scott-Kronemeyer, Superintendent of Schools in Sault Ste. Marie Area Public Schools.

Recognizing the pivotal role of digital literacy in the M-STEP and beyond, the state legislature has approved an expansion of the program for the 2023-2024 school year. This strategic move ensures that elementary and middle school students across Michigan have the digital skills necessary to excel not only in school but also in future careers. 

“ has allowed our teachers the flexibility to have students work through an independent self-paced course of lessons, where when a student misses a day, they are still able to complete assignments and move forward without missing a single lesson,” says Tanika Rucker, Instructional Technology & Data Coordinator, Center Line Public Schools. “Our students have benefited greatly from the addition of the program.”

 The expansion of the Michigan K-8 Digital Literacy Program, funded by the state legislature, will enable qualified K-8 schools to use’s comprehensive digital literacy curriculum at no cost to the school. This is a testament to Michigan’s dedication to bridging the digital divide, ensuring equitable access to essential digital literacy resources for every student in the state.

By prioritizing these skills, Michigan isn’t just preparing students for today’s challenges but is also fostering a generation equipped to navigate the complexities of an increasingly digital world.

Michigan’s funding of this program for eligible K-8 schools is about more than education – it’s a societal investment in the state’s future. Michigan’s commitment to fostering a digitally empowered generation not only enriches education but also opens doors for the future leaders.

Brian Rose

Brian Rose

SVP Strategic Initiatives

Educated as an engineer, Brian has spent his career helping start and expand early stage and emerging growth technology companies. Brian previously served as VP Client Services at the specialty finance firm Charter School Capital. Brian has also held senior-level positions with Ignite Education Group, Pinnacle Education and Insight Schools.