Girls outperform boys in ICT literacy – report

Girls outperform boys in ICT literacy – report

Student performance nationally in ICT literacy has remained stable compared to the previous sample assessments in 2014, a report released by ACARA shows.

The National Assessment Program (NAP) sample assessment in information and communication technology literacy tests students’ general ICT skills and knowledge in a sample of schools across the country. 

The report found that that female students nationally in both Year 6 and Year 10 performed significantly better than male students, bucking a trend which has seen boys dominate technology subjects.

Fifty-six per cent of female Year 6 students reached the proficient standard, compared to 51% of male Year 6 students. For Year 10 students, the percentages were 58 and 51, respectively.

Nationally at Year 6, female students outperformed male students by 14 score points on the NAP–ICT Literacy scale in 2017 and this difference was statistically significant. 

In Year 10, the gender difference in favour of female students was 19 score points at the national level and this difference was also statistically significant.

Unsurprisingly, higher levels of digital device experience were associated with higher levels of ICT literacy, particularly in Year 10. However, lower achieving Year 6 students reported slightly more frequent use of communication applications when at school than higher achieving students did.

ACARA CEO, Robert Randall, said that while the report indicates there hasn’t been any improvement since the last round of testing, it is “early days” in the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies.

“As implementation of the digital technologies curriculum continues, we should start to see an impact by the next assessment, in 2020,” Randall said.

However, he pointed out that only a small amount of time is allocated to Digital Technologies. 

“It continues to be important for teachers to value ICT capability in all learning areas if we would like to see a significant improvement,” Randall said.