Development and Validation of the Computer Technology Literacy Self-Assessment Scale for Taiwanese Elementary School Students

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INTRODUCTION

Because of the increasing importance and pervasiveness of technology, educators have recognized that its integration into education is one of the important issues for educational reform and innovation (AAAS, 1998; Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999; Palaigorgiou et al., 2005). Consequently, technology is increasingly used for educational purposes and has had a considerable and dramatic effect on contemporary educational practice. In particular, it has received high praise from educators and researchers worldwide, who believe that integration of technology into curricula can enhance and inspire meaningful learning as well as assist students in developing the ability to understand technology (Chou, Tsai, 2002; TFS, 2006; Tsai, Lin, & Tsai, 2001). Today computer technology provides additional ways to improve learning by going beyond the traditional textbook (George, 2000). The technology installed in school settings and classrooms allow students to use the latest software, incorporate electronic presentations into their studies, present videos and/or connect to the Internet (McDonald, 2004). Thus, fluency with computer technology goes beyond traditional notions of computer literacy. Computer technology literacy enables one to accomplish a variety of different tasks and in different ways.

In recent years, the definition of computer technology literacy has continued to change as technological innovations are adopted by the marketplace. Therefore, there has been no agreed upon definition of what actually constitutes computer technology literacy. Many researchers began to explore its unique features in the past decade. Simonson et al.'s (1987) standardized test of computer literacy and computer anxiety index evaluated students' literacy on the basis of four competencies: (1) computer attitudes: one's feelings about the personal and societal use of computers in appropriate ways; (2) computer applications: the ability to responsibly evaluate, select, and implement a variety of ways to perform tasks; (3) computer systems: the use of varied equipment and programs; (4) computer programming: the ability to use computer languages. Moreover, Tuckett (1989) noted that computer literacy has three components: an understanding of what computers can do, the skills necessary to use them, and the confidence in their use. The American Library Association (ALA, 1989) also noted that information technology skills can enable individuals to achieve a wide variety of academic, work-related, and personal goals. Westfall (1997) pointed out that there are two general perspectives on computer technology literacy in an information society. It not only deals with an understanding of the technology infrastructure that underpins much of today's life, and an understanding of the tools technology provides and their interaction with this infrastructure, but also an understanding of the legal, social, economic, and public policy issues that shape the development of that infrastructure. As noted, the definition of computer technology literacy must be periodically updated to reflect the continuing advancement.

Students today are faced with the information explosion. In order to prepare our elementary school students for the future. It is not sufficient to just teach them subject-specific knowledge, but to integrate technology into curricula and help them understand and use that technology. Additionally, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE, 2002) tried to develop a general set of profiles describing technology-literate students at key developmental points at different grade levels in their pre-college education. These profiles and associated standards provide a framework for preparing students to be lifelong learners who should have the opportunity to develop technology skills to support their learning, productivity, decision making, and daily life. ISTE-Technology Foundation Standards for Students (2005) are generally described as follows:

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