Here at TechnoKids we have an exciting announcement. We have just submitted an application for accreditation to DQ Institute Global Standards for Digital Intelligence. DQ Institute sets standards for digital literacy, skills, and readiness. Their DQ Framework was compiled by combining the criteria set by over twenty other standards and best practices collections. They include ISTE, Microsoft, Global Kids Online, Common Sense Media, and many more. The goal of their standards is to “promote digital literacy and digital skills around the world.”
This aim coincides with TechnoKids’ mission that is stated in every technology project: “Our mission is to combine education and technology to provide children with the core computing skills that will best prepare them for the future”. It was really gratifying to see that the skills which our projects teach correspond closely to the DQ Global Standards.
What Is the DQ Framework?
DQ consists of 24 digital competencies that prepare students for life and careers in the future. They are grouped into 8 areas: Identity, Use, Safety, Security, Emotional Intelligence, Literacy, Communication, and Rights. And they are developed on 3 levels:
- Citizenship – the basic technology skills a person needs to be safe, responsible, and ethical
- Creativity – the ability to solve problems by creating new content, knowledge, and technologies
- Competitiveness – innovations that offer change for the benefit of a larger community
View the DQ Global Standards Report to read a complete description of each competency. They are divided into Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes and Values to provide a comprehensive explanation of each.
Why Are Global Standards for Digital Literacy Important to Educators?
As teachers, we want to empower our students to become digitally intelligent citizens, manage existing and future technology competently, and have the necessary skills to achieve the careers they want. By measuring our curriculum with a globally recognized set of standards, we can better attain these goals.
We want to give students a toolkit of digital skills. But we also want to build soft skills, such as critical thinking, creativity, and persistence. By aiming to conform to a set of digital standards, we are more likely to create capable learners with a complete collection of digital competencies. And students with a wide variety of digital knowledge, skills, attitudes and values are more likely to be well prepared for life and careers in the future.
DQ Global Standards are more than just learning to use new media and being safe online. The competencies cover all aspects of digital life. For example, they include a balanced and healthy use of technology, digital footprint and participatory rights management, and one’s identity as a digital co-creator and changemaker. Yes, it’s a huge challenge to include it all in curriculum. But aiming to teach according to standards is a very effective way to check if you are ‘ticking all the boxes’ in technology education.
How Does TechnoKids Computer Curriculum Align with DQ Standards for Digital Literacy?
Previously, TechnoKids has published correlation lists to common and national standards. We have documented how our projects align with Common Core State English and Math Standards, ISTE Standards for Students, and National Curriculum in England. Recently we thoroughly examined over 40 TechnoKids technology projects to check for alignment with each of the 24 DQ competencies. We summarized the correlation in this DQ Competencies and TechnoKids Computing Curriculum alignment chart.
So the good news is that we found out TechnoKids projects are building skills in all 24 areas. In some cases, a competency was achieved throughout the project. For example, TechnoSales, TechnoTimeline, TechnoRestaurateur, and TechnoQuestionnaire all attain #7 Media and Information Literacy.
In other cases, a specific activity within a project corresponded to a competency. The Digital Resiliency Plan in TechnoInternet teaches students how to develop practices to manage threats to attain DQ competency #20 Organizational Cyber Security Management. Another example is the Build Consumer Awareness activity in TechnoBudget. Students survey a website of a business. Then they complete a checklist which helps them to decide if a company embraces responsible, sustainable, and community involvement initiatives. This activity builds DQ competency #17 Digital Changemaker Identity.
However, TechnoKids did not ‘tick all the boxes’. We learned where we need to focus our efforts in both existing projects and in the new projects coming out this year. We are going to survey where we fell short and which competencies we need to further develop. DQ Global Standards will become our guiding map to provide teachers with a thorough and complete curriculum to develop digital literacy, skills, and readiness.