Digital skill sets for diverse users: A comparison framework for curriculum and competencies

This article reviews several digital literacy frameworks and curricula to identify the digital skills people need to learn to participate in today’s world.

Stacey Wedlake
Karah Lothian
David Keyes
Chris Coward
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
University of Washington
City of Seattle
Publication Year
Resource Type
Informational Material
Key Words
Number of Pages
Product Type

The City of Seattle’s Digital Equity Initiative provides a roadmap to reach the City of Seattle’s vision to become a more digitally equitable city, where technology’s opportunities equitably empower all residents and communities. The City, in partnership with TASCHA, developed a set of Digital Equity Indicators that helps measure Seattle’s progress in meeting the initiative's goals. Building upon this work, TASCHA and the City developed a set of recommended digital skills and assessments that meet the goals outlined in the indicator framework. The City will use the results to inform its digital equity program and investments and assist training providers in their program planning and delivery. The created framework and recommendations contribute to digital equity research resources for partners to use for policy, design, and curriculum development.

Benefits and Uses

This resource provides a very thorough, research-based comparison framework for digital literacy curriculum. The resource can be used by adult foundational skills educators (i.e., those with students who need basic skills, high school equivalency preparation, or English language for all levels of immigrants and refugees) to learn about the widely used frameworks, curricula, and assessments and consider which one they might use as a set of standards or competencies, as a curriculum, and/or as an assessment tool.  Tables, graphs, and charts included throughout the resource provide quick snapshots of the research comparing digital literacy curriculum providers. 

Required Training

No prior training required.

What the experts say

This is the best resource I have seen for adult foundational skills educators (i.e., those with students who need basic skills, high school equivalency preparation, or English language for all levels of immigrants and refugees) who want to create or improve their digital literacy curriculum, instruction, and/or assessment. The information is detailed and thoroughly researched. It begins with the broad standards categories and drills down to competencies and assessments to measure them. Its greatest virtue is the breadth of skills they have considered, from the most basic proficiency levels to those needed for post-secondary education and advanced 21st century skills. This resource will be a huge time saver and a great asset to educators when they are determining the best digital literacy curriculum for their adult education students.

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