Preparing for Life in a Digital Age : The IEA International Computer and Information Literacy Study International Report
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The International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) studied the extent to which young people have developed computer and information literacy (CIL) to support their capacity to participate in the digital age. Computer and information literacy is defined as “an individual’s ability to use computers to investigate, create, and communicate in order to participate effectively at home, at school, in the workplace, and in society”. ICILS is a response to the increasing use of information and communication technology (ICT) in modern society and the need for citizens to develop relevant skills in order to participate effectively in the digital age. It also addresses the necessity for policymakers and education systems to have a better understanding of the contexts and outcomes of CIL-related education programs in their countries. ICILS is the first crossnational study commissioned by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) to collect student achievement data on computer. ICILS used purpose-designed software for the computer-based student assessment and questionnaire. These instruments were administered primarily by way of USB drives attached to school computers. Although the software could have been delivered via internet, the USB delivery ensured a uniform assessment environment for students regardless of the quality of internet connections in participating schools. Data were either uploaded to a server or delivered to the ICILS research center in that country. ICILS systematically investigated differences among the participating countries in CIL outcomes and how participating countries were providing CIL-related education. The ICILS team also explored differences within and across countries with respect to relationships between CIL education outcomes and student characteristics and school contexts. ICILS was based around four research questions focused on the following: 1. Variations in CIL within and across countries; 2. Aspects of schools, education systems, and teaching associated with student achievement in CIL; 3. The extent to which students’ access to, familiarity with, and self-reported proficiency in using computers is associated with student achievement in CIL; and 4. Aspects of students’ personal and social backgrounds associated with CIL.