Massachusetts Technology Literacy Standards and Expectations
April 2008


By the completion of eighth grade, students should demonstrate competencies in using tools such as word processing, database, spreadsheet, web browser, presentation, and graphics applications. Students should be familiar enough with the purpose and function of these technologies to enable them to select the appropriate tool for a task. Students should be able to identify various components of a computer system and be able to explain basic concepts of networking. Students should practice good file management skills and operate peripheral equipment independently.

Students should understand the legal, ethical, and safety issues concerning the use of email, the Internet, and other online tools. Students should understand how to protect their personal identification and information on the Internet and be knowledgeable about general rules for safe Internet practices. In addition, students should develop an awareness of how they present themselves on the Internet.

By the end of eighth grade, students should have had ample opportunity to become fluent in the use of technology tools for research, problem solving, and communication across all curriculum areas. They should know how to communicate their learning with peers and other audiences through multimedia presentations, desktop-published reports, and other electronic media. They should have learned effective strategies for locating and validating information on the Internet. Moreover, students should understand why it is important to use multiple web sites for their research, rather than relying on a single site for information.

In summary, when students enter the ninth grade, they should be able to use technology to learn and enhance their understanding of academic subjects and the world around them. Technology should be incorporated into their everyday learning activities, both inside and outside the classroom.
1. Basic Operations and Productivity Tools
1.1 Basic Operations
G6-8: 1:11 Use features of a computer operating system (e.g., determine available space on local storage devices and remote storage resources, - access the size and format of files, identify the version of an application).
G6-8: 1.12 Identify successful troubleshooting strategies for minor hardware and software issues/problems (e.g., “frozen screen”).
G6-8: 1.13 Independently operate peripheral equipment (e.g., scanner, digital camera, camcorder), if available in the school.
G6-8: 1.14 Identify and use a variety of storage media (i.e., CDs, DVDs, flash drives, school servers, and online storage spaces), and provide a rationale for using a certain medium for a specific purpose.
G6-8: 1.15 Demonstrate keyboarding techniques that result in accuracy, and general efficiency in computer operation. (For students with disabilities, demonstrate alternate input techniques as appropriate.)
1.2 Word Processing/Desktop Publishing
G6-8: 1.21 Demonstrate use of intermediate features in word processing applications (e.g., tabs, indents, headers and footers, end notes, bullet and numbering, tables).
G6-8: 1.22 Create, save, open, and import a word processing document in different file formats (e.g., RTF, HTML).
1.3 Database
G6-8: 1.31 Describe the structure and function of a database, using related terms appropriately.
G6-8: 1.32 Create a simple database, defining field formats and adding new records.
G6-8: 1.33 Perform simple operations in a database (i.e., browse, sort, filter, search on selected criteria, delete data, enter data).
G6-8: 1.34 Plan and develop database reports to organize and display information.
1.4 Spreadsheet
G6-8: 1.41 Describe the use of spreadsheets to calculate, graph, organize, and present data in a variety of real-world settings.
G6-8: 1.42 Create an original spreadsheet, using formulas.
G6-8: 1.43 Use various number formats (e.g., scientific notation, percentages, exponents) as appropriate.
G6-8: 1.44 Produce simple charts and graphs from a spreadsheet.
G6-8: 1.45 Distinguish among different types of charts and graphs, and choose the most appropriate type to represent given data.
G6-8: 1.46 Apply advanced formatting features to customize tables, charts, and graphs.
1.5 Internet, Networking, and Online Communication
G6-8: 1.51 Use web browsing to access information (e.g., enter a URL, access links, create bookmarks/favorites, print web pages).
G6-8: 1.52 Identify probable types and locations of web sites by examining their domain names and explain that misleading domain names are sometimes created in order to deceive people (e.g., .edu, .com, .org, .gov, .au).
G6-8: 1.53 Explain and correctly use terms related to networks (LANs, WANs, servers, and routers), Internet connectivity (DSL, T1, T3).
G6-8: 1.54 Explain and correctly use terms related to online learning (e.g., IP address, post, thread, Intranet, discussion forum, drop box, account, password).
G6-8: 1.55 Explain that some web sites require the use of plug-ins and specific browser versions to access content.
G6-8: 1.56 Use email functions and features including replying, forwarding, attachments, subject lines, signature, and address book. (Use of e-mail is at district discretion and may be a class-wide activity if students do not have individual accounts.)
1.6 Multimedia and Software Applications
G6-8: 1.61 Create a multimedia presentation using various media as appropriate (e.g. audio, video, animations, etc.).
G6-8: 1.62 Use a variety of technology tools (e.g., dictionary, thesaurus, grammar-checker, calculator) to maximize the accuracy of work.


2. Ethics, Society, and Safety
2.1 Ethics
G6-8: 2.11 Explain ethical issues related to privacy, plagiarism, spam, viruses, hacking, and file sharing.
G6-8: 2.12 Explain how copyright law protects the ownership of intellectual property, and explain possible consequences of violating the law.
G6-8: 2.13 Explain fair use guidelines for using copyrighted materials (e.g. images, music, video, text) in school projects.
2.2 Society
G6-8: 2.21 Identify and discuss the technology proficiencies needed in the workplace, as well as ways to prepare to meet these demands.
G6-8: 2.22 Identify and describe the effect technological changes have had on society.
G6-8: 2.23 Explain how technology can support communication and collaboration, personal and professional productivity, and lifelong learning.
G6-8: 2.24 Analyze and explain how media and technology can be used to distort, exaggerate, and misrepresent information.
G6-8: 2.25 Give examples of hardware and applications that enable people with disabilities to use technology.
2.3 Health and Safety
G6-8: 2.31 Explain the potential risks associated with the use of networked digital information (i.e., Internet, mobile phones, wireless, LANs).
G6-8: 2.32 Provide examples of safe and unsafe practices for sharing personal information via e-mail and the Internet.
G6-8: 2.33 Explain why computers, networks, and information need to be protected from viruses, intrusion and vandalism.
G6-8: 2.34 Explain terms associated with the safe, effective, and efficient use of telecommunications/Internet (i.e., password, firewalls, spam, security, Acceptable Use Policy).


3. Research, Problem Solving, and Communications
3.1 Research
G6-8: 3.11 Explain and demonstrate effective searching and browsing strategies when working on projects.
G6-8: 3.12 Collect, organize, and analyze digital information from a variety of sources, citing sources.
G6-8: 3.13 Use a variety of computing devices (e.g. probeware, handheld computers, digital cameras, scanners) to collect, analyze and present information for curriculum assignments.
3.2 Problem Solving
G6-8: 3.21 Independently use appropriate technology tools (e.g., graphic organizer) to define problems and propose hypotheses.
G6-8: 3.22 Use and modify databases and spreadsheets to analyze data and propose solutions.
G6-8: 3.23 Develop and use guidelines to evaluate the content, organization, design, use of citations, and presentation of technologically enhanced projects.
3.3 Communication
G6-8: 3.31 Plan, design, and develop a multimedia product to effectively present research findings and creative ideas, citing sources.
G6-8: 3.32 Identify differences between various media and explain issues associated with repurposing information from one medium to another (e.g., from print to the web).
G6-8: 3.33 Use a variety of telecommunication tools (e.g., e-mail, discussion groups, web pages, blogs, web conferences) to collaborate and communicate with peers, experts, and other audiences (at district’s discretion).