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Getting the Data You Need to Drive Digital Literacy Improvement

by | Aug 9, 2018 | News

National and state standards, increased use of technology in the classroom, and a growing number of online assessments require students be proficient with digital literacy skills.  Yet, we don’t often have data that provides insight into what digital literacy skills our students have or don’t have. Here are steps you can go through to create a successful digital literacy assessment initiative at your school or district.

Gathering your Data

One way to get this important data is through a digital literacy assessment. But, before choosing a digital literacy assessment, consider two factors:

  1. The digital literacy standards that are being (or should be) taught in your school or district
  2. The data you hope to gather, evaluate, and act upon, as a result

Digital literacy assessments aligned to standards should provide meaningful data to different stakeholders in the school environment.  The data will not only inform them of the results of the assessment with standard- and/or indicator-level scores, but it will also provide ways to consider performance on the assessment against other test-taking students or groups.

Getting the Right Reports

Assessment data and reports should be easy to digest by students, parents, teachers, and administrators.  The reports should be delivered at four levels, typically:

  • Individual student reports show how a single student performed on the digital literacy assessment. Can be used for review by individual students, parents, and teacher to help address digital literacy skills that are not proficient.
  • Class reports are typically reviewed by a teacher to determine the digital literacy strengths and gaps of a specific class of students so that the teacher can make class-wide instructional decisions for digital literacy. School-level administrators such as instructional specialists and principals review class reports to help individual teachers make instructional decisions for their classes as well.
  • School reports are typically reviewed by school-level administrators like instructional specialists and principals to understand digital literacy strengths and gaps across an entire school. The school report may contain class-by-class rankings so students and educators who need the most help with digital literacy standards or indicators are identified and targeted gaps can be rectified on a district and/or school level.
  • District reports are reviewed by district-level instructional staff, grant writers and reviewers, and administrators like superintendents. The district-level report may contain school-by-school rankings to identify high- and low-performing schools across sets of standards.

Taking Action

At a school- or district-level, students are often best-served when the data can be disaggregated in ways that allow for evaluation and comparison across demographic groups (i.e.: gender, socio-economic, or ethnic, for instance). Once the data is evaluated, standards and indicators identified as gaps should be considered for additional curricular or academic intervention for individuals, classes of students, or specific groups of underserved populations.

Once the academic intervention is implemented, consider a follow-up assessment as a post-test or a baseline follow-up with the same or similar assessment to measure growth.  Then, “rinse and repeat” the process as you continue to gather data to drive your digital literacy instruction over the course of grading periods and school years to track your students’ growth and success with digital literacy.

If you’d like to gain access to a free quiz to help you gauge if your late elementary or early middle school students are on track with the digital literacy skills needed for high school and beyond, sign up now to participate in the Tech Readiness Quiz.

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