banner Technology and Engineering Literacy Framework for the 2014 NAEP
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
E. Selection And Use Of Digital Tools

E. Selection and Use of Digital Tools

Until recently, classroom uses of technology tended to focus almost exclusively on helping students become competent users of the technology itself. Educators today have come to recognize that how technology is used as a tool for learning is at least as important—if not more so—than simply how to use technology. Nonetheless, students still require basic operational skills and concepts to be effective users of technology for learning. These skills include the capabilities to select and use the appropriate tools, to use those tools to complete tasks effectively and productively, and to apply current knowledge about technology to learn how to use new technologies as they become available.

Key principles in the area of Selection and Use of Digital Tools that all students can be expected to understand at increasing levels of sophistication are:

  • Knowledge about the common uses of readily available digital tools supports effective tool selection.
  • A fundamental aspect of technology and engineering literacy is the possession of foundational ICT skills in the use of common productivity tools.

Fourth-grade students should know that different digital tools have different purposes. They should also be able to use a variety of digital tools that are appropriate for their age level. For example, they should be reasonably competent in using digital tools for creating documents and images, for solving problems, and for collecting and organizing information.

Eighth-grade students should be familiar with different types of digital tools and be able to move easily from one type of tool to another—for example, creating a document or image with one tool and then using a second tool to communicate the result to someone at a distant location. They should be able to select and use effectively a number of tools for different purposes.

Twelfth-grade students should be competent in the use of a broad variety of digital tools and be able to explain why some tools are more effective than others that were designed to serve the same purpose, based on the features of the individual tools.

E. Selection and Use of Digital Tools Goals

Fourth-grade students know that different digital tools have different purposes and are able to use a number of different tools. Eighth-grade students can categorize digital tools by function and can select appropriate tools and demonstrate effective use of the tools for different purposes. Twelfth-grade students are competent in the use of a broad variety of digital tools and can justify why certain tools are chosen over others that might accomplish the same task, by referencing specific features.

Table 2.14 Selection and Use of Digital Tools assessment targets for grades 4, 8, and 12
Grade 4 Grade 8 Grade 12

Students know that:

I.4.12: Different digital tools have different purposes.

Students know that:

I.8.12: Certain digital tools are appropriate for gathering, organizing, analyzing, and presenting information, while other kinds of tools are appropriate for creating text, visualizations, and models and for communicating with others.

Students know that:

I.12.12: A variety of digital tools exist for a given purpose. The tools differ in features, capacities, operating modes, and style. Knowledge about many different ICT tools is helpful in selecting the best tool for a given task.

Students are able to:

I.4.13: Use digital tools (appropriate for fourth-grade students) effectively for different purposes, such as searching, organizing, and presenting information.

Students are able to:

I.8.13: Use appropriate digital tools to accomplish a variety of tasks, including gathering, analyzing, and presenting information as well as creating text, visualizations, and models and communicating with others.

Students are able to:

I.12.13: Demonstrate the capability to use a variety of digital tools to accomplish a task or develop a solution for a practical problem. Justify the choice of tools, explain why other tools were not used based on specific features of the tools, and summarize the results.