Common Core testing will require digital literacy skills

By Dennis Pierce, Editor in Chief, @eSN_Dennis
April 24th, 2013

The shift toward online exams aligned with the Common Core standards will require much more preparation than simply making sure networks can handle the extra bandwidth constraints and that schools have enough devices for every student.

It also will require students to demonstrate certain digital literacy skills that go beyond the core curriculum, observers say. These include technology operational skills such as keyboarding and spreadsheets, as well as higher-order skills such as finding and evaluating information online.

And many observers have serious concerns about whether students will be ready to take the online exams by the 2014-15 school year.

“When you look at the Common Core standards and how students are going to be assessed, the depth of knowledge and what students will be asked to do is completely different than what has been required by high-stakes testing before,” said Nick Smith, marketing manager for

(Next page: Sample assessment questions, and how some schools are preparing)

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4 Responses to “Common Core testing will require digital literacy skills”

April 27, 2013

This article would have been much more helpful if it included interviews with teachers using open educational resources to meet Common Core expectations. Instead, two more companies pushing product were highlighted. Administrators and teachers should be creating their own curriculum, using OER, and thumbing their noses at the plethora of “Common Core-aligned” sales pitches. Surely we know how to use technology to collaborate with others in our schools, our districts, our state, or across the country? If we can’t, how can we be expected to teach those skills to our students?

April 29, 2013

This article is remiss by not mentioning the work of school library media specialists who teach these very informational/digital literacy skills to students as part of the library curriculum. Locating, analyzing and synthesizing information are skills that have been taught by every licensed school librarian long before common core and PARCC assessments were blips on the radar screen. Recognizing that students need keyboarding skills to be efficient with time on the new tests, the true skills tested are the informational literacy skills. With the emphasis on such skills, with school library media specialists being the information and research specialists in schools, where is the logic in school districts cutting licensed school librarians and school library programs? To be replaced by commercial computer packages and create profits for the edubusinesses? Schools are about children and learning and quality educators; let’s focus on this.

jim spradlin
June 7, 2013

Check out Certiport and IC3 for training and certification of tech skills both fundamental and thorough for school and work.

June 8, 2013

Yes, I remember Score21 AKA Case21. Poor questions, some questions didn’t have correct answers, some questions had 2 correct answers. What a nightmare!! This year I spoke to a student who said in two weeks she will take 16 standardized tests. What needs to be done is this, add up all the time spent on teachers administering assessments. You will be shocked about how much students spend being assessed. All this time is time that teachers could use as instructional time, where students can be learning the material instead of being tested. Spend less time assessing and more time teaching!