ICILS results highlight importance of digital and information literacy skills for students


The results of the International Computer and Information Literacy Study 2018 were published earlier this month. They highlight the fallacy of ‘digital natives’ being digitally competent through exposure to digital devices. Shockingly, only 2% of students in the study showed an ability to assess online information critically.

ICILS, which is published by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), studied the computer, information literacy, and computational thinking skills of more than 46,000 students and 26,000 teachers from 14 countries around the world. Among the key findings were that, “young people do not develop sophisticated digital skills just by growing up using digital devices”, that, “providing students or teachers with ICT equipment alone is not enough to improve their digital skills”, and that, “there is a digital divide associated with the socioeconomic status of students.”

These results echo positions of ICDL Europe on the fallacy of the ‘digital native’, the importance of developing teachers’ ICT skills, and the significance of digital skills for opportunities in the workforce.

IEA Executive Director, Dr Dirk Hastedt, said, “Confidence, and crucially, competence, in the use of digital devices is of vital importance globally. It is essential that young people are taught these skills at schools, and that their teachers are well supported in delivering this bedrock of modern education.”

More information about ICILS can be found on the website of IEA.

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