Students who use computers for their writing assignments fared far better on the NAEP writing test, the first to be administered on computer, than students who do not.
Those results may not come as a surprise, but with comprehensive digital testing on the horizon, the implications extend far beyond the realm of writing instruction.
Online testing gives a “distinct advantage” to students whose homes and schools are rich in technology, says AASA chief Daniel Domenech. Its nothing new, he says, just the latest example of “the gap between the haves and have-nots.”
Though the testing platform may reward digital literacy, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Computers are “the 21st-century pencil,” says Domenech. Tech skills are not for just the college bound any more. Fast-food and retail workers regularly use smart devices and computers at work, as do truck drivers and security guards. In fact, its hard to think of a job that doesn’t require digital literacy.
Read More: Digital Wake-Up Call | Scholastic.com.