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High schoolers may have to prove technology know-how

By Melissa Santos, The Olympian
February 11th, 2015

Some state leaders worry students aren’t developing important technology skills before they leave the K-12 system

technology-skillsThe state’s public schools chief is worried that Washington students aren’t learning enough about computers and technology.

Under a proposal from state superintendent Randy Dorn, schools would have to report to his office how their students are meeting technology literacy requirements – whether it’s through a test, a culminating project, or computer-oriented coursework.

The Legislature already has established technology literacy as one of the state’s essential learning requirements, but Dorn said students right now aren’t necessarily being asked to show they’ve mastered those skills.

Dorn said he wants to ensure students leave high school familiar with computer programs such as Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel–not just Facebook and Twitter.

“We’re talking about the use of technology in the real world, other than social media,” said Dorn, who leads the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. “I believe this now is a part of the state’s responsibility.”

Next page: Lawmakers’ views regarding why students must demonstrate their technology skills