U.S. eighth-grade students scored above the international average on Computer and Information Literacy, but they also struggle with some key 21st-century employability skills, according to a international study.
The International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) measures the ability of eighth graders to use computers to investigate, create, participate and communicate at home, at school, in their future workplace and in their communities. . The 2018 study results were released in the United States by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), marking the first time that US ICILS data has been available.
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“The study shows that the idea of the ‘digital native’ is more of a myth than a reality,” said Peggy G. Carr, Associate Commissioner of Evaluation at NCES. “Today’s eighth graders were brought up in a world where computers and smartphones are commonplace, but the majority of them were unable to perform basic tasks independently. Obviously, we have work to do to make sure our students are prepared to use digital devices to successfully navigate all aspects of life. “
While 90% of American students demonstrated a working knowledge of computers as tools and were able to perform simple tasks, such as opening a link in a new browser tab, an alarming group of smaller size (25% of US eighth graders) were able to independently use computers as tools (such as to collect information or manage work) and successfully distinguish the reliability of web-based information. The assessment found that girls in the United States and abroad scored higher than boys in computer information literacy.