The use of ECDL/ICDL in schools is spreading across many parts of the world. In Indonesia alone, 4000 schools are implementing ICDL in their classrooms. Mobile testing has been introduced in Egypt by the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Marine Transport. This allows students in remote areas to access ICDL testing. Thailand, Chile and Australia are just a few more of the many countries using ICDL in education.
Having ECDL/ICDL Certification Program in Schools is an Asset
Some experts in the area of IT and education were asked for their thoughts on ECDL/ICDL use in second and third level education. The results were overwhelmingly positive. The following is a sampling of those responses:
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
“Students benefit from ECDL in their mid-teens as it ensures that by the time they leave school they are digitally literate and better placed to gain employment. It is also the perfect age to take ECDL as it teaches them to access and use IT safely and appropriately.”
ICS Skills, Ireland
“At this stage in their schooling students are asked to carry out more complex projects, work in teams, consider, explore, analyze, solve and report on real-world scenarios and challenges. To do this effectively they need to use computers in a more ‘grown up’ way. Through ECDL they gain the skills required to work in a more collaborative and productive way.”
“Teachers tell us that as a result of doing ECDL, students are more focused in other classes and take a more structured approach to completing school work across all subjects. Students tell us that when applying for summer jobs, employers either request or take particular note of ECDL on their CVs.”
Mag. Roland Potzlberger
Computer Science Teacher
BRG Bad Ischl, Austria
“We offer our students ECDL because there is no compulsory computer science teaching at the lower level. Nowadays, basic knowledge on computers is presumed at secondary schools and in almost every profession. The regular standard tests in the fourth classes show the flaws in basic knowledge that those who do not take ECDL have. With the ECDL certificate, students can prove that they meet the standard.”
ECDL/ICDL Certification Gives Graduating Students an Advantage
There are many reasons to implement ECDL/ICDL in schools. Employers seek candidates to hire who have computer literacy skills. Giving students these skills in school before entering the workforce gives them a better chance of success when they do. Spreadsheets and report formatting are skills that they will likely be asked to use from day one. In most cases, there won’t be time set aside for training in these areas. Having an ECDL/ICDL certificate on their resume will ensure the employer that they are hiring someone with the right skills.
A lot of teenagers are over-confident when it comes to their computer skills. Facebooking, Instagramming , Youtubing and downloading music are not skills that are required in most jobs. In fact, their use while on the job is frowned upon. These applications are very basic. Creating Spreadsheets and reports, on the other hand, are skills which require training and practice before you can become efficient and effective. Teaching these skills to teens while they are still in school will give them time to become truly skilled by the time they enter University and the workforce. Knowledge brings true confidence.
Why not give our children all the tools they need to become successful, contributing members of society. Computer literacy is becoming as important as reading and writing literacy. A child learns to read far more quickly than an illiterate adult does. The same is true of computer literacy. Adolescent brains are still developing making them quicker to learn and better at retaining information. Experts agree that implementing a program like ICDL in schools is the most practical way of creating a highly skilled, computer literate generation.
Cara Jones – ICDL Canada Staff Writer