Adult Digital Literacy Standards

Hello colleagues who teach, develop curriculum for, or in other ways are involved with adult digital literacy skills,

Are you interested in standards for adult digital literacy? Do you like the digital literacy standards you now use? Are you interested in learning about new digital literacy standards? Do you wonder what curriculum you can use with these standards?

If so, I would like to call your attention to my column in the spring 2020 Adult Literacy Education Journal, and another set of adult digital literacy standards I recently learned about from Jeff Goumas in a recent webinar he did about SkillBlox, an exciting free new addition for teachers to CrowdED Learning.

1. Here's the link to the ALE Journal article: Assessing and Teaching Adult Learners’ Basic and Advanced 21st Century Digital Literacy Skills

2. The additional, very promising set of digital literacy standards, Digital skill sets for diverse users, from the Seattle Digital Equity Initiative, will be found here:

Which of these four sets of digital literacy standards do you think would be best for the students you teach, and why?

1. The Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment Standards for Essential Computer Skills(basic digital literacy skills)

2. International Standards for Technology Education (ISTE) Standards for Students include these seven more advanced digital literacy areas: Empowered Learner, Digital Citizen, Knowledge Constructor, Innovative Designer, Computational Thinker, Creative Communicator, and Global Collaborator. Although designed primarily for K-12 learners, these are increasingly also used in adult basic skills education especially for more advanced digital literacy skills.

3. PIAAC PSTRE Conceptual Framework  and Using the “PIAAC Framework for Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments to Guide Instruction: An Introduction for Adult Educators.”

4. Digital skill sets for diverse users from the Seattle Digital Equity Initiative

Is there another set of digital literacy standards that you like better? If so, tell what it is and why you like it.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group



Thank you for sharing those fantastic resources regarding digital literacy. In Maryland, we developed a Framework that focuses on adult learners. This Digital Literacy Framework for Adult Learners is not only for students but also for instructors and administrators - we all can work our digital literacy skills. The Digital Literacy Framework for Adult Learners can be found here: Also, a supplement to the initial framework is the soon coming Digital Literacy Framework: Instructor Implementation Guide. This guide includes lesson activities and available resources to support instructors. We will present on the soon available Instructor Implementation Guide next week at the Maryland Virtual Training Institute:

Hopefully these resources support those who are looking for definition and structure when it comes to digital literacy in adult education. 

Jamie Harris,

Adult Education Program Specialist

Maryland Department of Labor