Queensland students below the proficiency level in ICT literacy

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By Michael Hilkemeijer

In a recent review by the Digital Education Research Network, despite Australian students being one of the highest proportions of students achieving at the Advanced Proficiency level, Queensland students along with the Northern Territory and Tasmanian students were at or below the proficiency level.  It was reported that 5% of students failed to achieve the minimum proficiency level. However, on a global scale Australian students performed well according to the data from Evaluation of Education Achievement’s (IEA) International Computer and Literacy Study (ICILS).

Additionally, it was noted that the main issues in teaching and learning with ICT continue to be the lack of skills and resources. According to the author, this was due to the insufficient time to prepare lessons and the lack of opportunities for professional development presented to teachers in order for them to learn how to incorporate ICT into their teaching practices. It was quoted in the review:

“There is a challenge for Australian Curriculum in that students are using computers for what have been defined as basic skills and lack the confidence to perform more advanced ICT tasks such as creating a computer program or macro, creating a database or building and editing a web page”.

Sue Thompson (ACER Director), the author of this report, stated concern in meeting the educational goal of having “highly skilled young people in ICT to be effective participants in a digital world”.  Issues such as socioeconomic inequalities continue to still exists along with the lack of interest in ICT by female students. This is despite, Year 6 and Year 10 female students outperforming the male students and achieving at the Proficient level.

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