Categories: Education

Support Public Education and Web Literacy in California

Web literacy — the ability to read, write, and participate online — is one of the most important skills of the 21st century. We believe it should be enshrined as the fourth “R,” alongside Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. From our open source learning tools to our free educational curriculum, we are dedicated to empowering individuals by teaching Web literacy.

In 2015, 65% of California public schools offered no computer science courses at all. Public schools should do more to expose students to Web literacy: a paucity of funding and the elimination of digital skills classes and curriculum are a disservice to students and the state’s future.

On June 30, we submitted an amicus letter to the California Supreme Court urging review of the case Campaign for Quality Education v. State of California. The issue in this case is whether the California Constitution requires California to provide its public school students with a quality education. We wrote this letter because we believe that California students risk being left behind in our increasingly digitized society without a quality education that includes Web literacy skills.

The internet has become an integral part of life for many and continues to grow in its global impact. Empowering a Web literate generation of students is crucial to their success, that of the broader online ecosystem and to our local economy. Using technology is an important part of Web literacy but it is not all. Web literacy needs to include a deeper understanding of technology itself and of its impact to empower students and allow meaningful participation in their online lives.

We hope the California Supreme Court takes this case. Ultimately, a quality education, including Web literacy, unlocks opportunities for students to be more engaged citizens as well as making them more college and career ready in today’s technology-driven market.

One comment on “Support Public Education and Web Literacy in California”

  1. David wrote on

    I hope the message you’re delivering to the California Supreme Court is more clear than this article. What you’re advocating is certainly important, but you need to make what that is more clear to people who don’t already understand these issues. The entirety of the article calls into question the simple definition of Web Literacy that you give at the beginning. It’s great to have a concise relatable analogy, but maybe not if it doesn’t make clear what you’re trying to say.

    One of the reasons there isn’t enough computer science in schools is because many people have no idea what computer science is. It isn’t about basic computer literacy or “digital skills” as you put it. Your mention of it doesn’t make that clear and only furthers this confusion. Then, by the end of the article, it sounds like you intend for Web Literacy to encompass both.

    Both things certainly are important, but the reasons may not be clear to those who don’t already know. So, please make sure you more clearly delineate what different kinds of skills and understanding that students need to have an opportunity to develop, and why each is important. Make sure what you’re advocating for is clear, and that you’re not just throwing around terms that not everyone understands.