IT literacy

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IT literacy is different from digital literacy or informatics literacy / computer science literacy that puts more emphasis on computer programming, algorithms and other important mathematical and computational concepts.

Modern visions sometimes start by adopting first an abstract competency model. For example, the ACM Information Technology Curricula 2017 (IT2017) report identifies IT competencies as knowledge + skills + dispositions in context.

The IT2017 core domains

IT 2017 identifies the following curricular domains (p. 48, p.64) for each of which core competencies are defined. Some domains are essential (ITE), others are supplemental (ITS) and some are both:

Essential only

  • Information Management (ITE-IMA)
  • Integrated Systems Technology (ITE-IST)
  • Platform Technologies (ITE-PFT)
  • System Paradigms (ITE-SPA)
  • User Experience Design (ITE-UXD)

Essential + Supplemental (5 + 5)

  • Cybersecurity Principles (ITE-CSP) / Cybersecurity Emerging Challenges (ITS-CEC)
  • Global Professional Practice (ITE-GPP) / Social Responsibility (ITS-SRE)
  • Networking (ITE-NET) / Applied Networks (ITS-ANE)
  • Software Fundamentals (ITE-SWF) / Software Development and Management (ITS-SDM)
  • Web and Mobile Systems (ITE-WMS) / Mobile Applications (ITS-MAP)

Supplemental Only (4)

  • Cloud Computing (ITS-CCO)
  • Data Scalability and Analytics (ITS-DSA)
  • Internet of Things (ITS-IOT)
  • Virtual Systems and Services (ITS-VSS)

Below we reproduce two examples without their subdomains from the IT2017 report, p 58-59)

ITE-SWF Domain: Software Fundamentals


1. Skills and fundamental programming concepts, data structures, and algorithmic processes
2. Programming strategies and practices for efficient problem solving
3. Programming paradigms to solve a variety of programming problems


A. Use multiple levels of abstraction and select appropriate data structures to create a new program that is socially relevant and requires team work. (Program development)
B. Evaluate how to write a program in terms of program style, intended behavior on specific inputs, correctness of program components, and descriptions of program functionality. (App development practices)
C. Develop algorithms to solve a computational problem and explain how programs implement algorithms in terms of instruction processing, program execution, and running processes. (Algorithm development)
D. Collaborate in the creation of an interesting and relevant app (mobile or web) based on user experience design, functionality, and security analysis and build the app’s program using standard libraries, unit testing tools, and collaborative version control. (App development practices)

ITE-UXD Domain: User Experience Design


1. Understanding of advocacy for the user in the development of IT applications and systems
2. Development of a mind-set that recognizes the importance of users, context of use, and organizational contexts
3. Employment of user-centered methodologies in the design, development, evaluation, and deployment of IT applications and systems
4. Application of evaluation criteria, benchmarks, and standards
5. User and task analysis, human factors, ergonomics, accessibility standards, experience design, and cognitive psychology


A. Design an interactive application, applying a user-centered design cycle and related tools and techniques (e.g., prototyping), aiming at usability and relevant user experience within a corporate environment. (Design tools and techniques)
B. For a case of user centered design, analyze and evaluate the context of use, stakeholder needs, state-of-the-art interaction opportunities, and envisioned solutions, considering user attitude and applying relevant tools and techniques (e.g., heuristic evaluation), aiming at universal access and inclusiveness, and showing a responsive design attitude, considering assistive technologies and culture sensitive design. (Stakeholder needs)
C. For evaluation of user-centered design, articulate evaluation criteria and compliance to relevant standards (Benchmarks and standards)
D. In design and analysis, apply knowledge from related disciplines including human information processing, anthropology and ethnography, and errgonomics/human factors. (Integrative design)
E. Apply experience design for a service domain related to several disciplines, focusing on multiple stakeholders and collaborating in an interdisciplinary design team. (Application design)


  • Mihaela Sabin, Svetlana Peltsverger, Cara Tang, and Barry M. Lunt. 2016. ACM/IEEE-CS Information Technology Curriculum 2017: A Status Update. In Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference on Information Technology Education (SIGITE '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 102-103. DOI:,