Florida's Digital Information Technology Course: What's New?
Are you looking for information on the new Florida Digital Information Technology course standards? Over the past year, we have spoken with hundreds of business education teachers in Florida, and a common topic of conversation was the change in the Florida Curriculum Frameworks around the Business Technology Education Core (BTE Core) and Introduction to Information Technology course. These changes are a concern for many teachers, as there is nothing worse than having to come up with new engaging lessons and projects that also meet new standards!
In this article, I will explain the background of the changes to the BTE Core and explore the new course titled “Digital Information Technology.” Then I will discuss some detailed changes teachers should be aware of in relation to the new Florida Digital Information Technology course.
How BTE Core Changes Impact CTE Career Clusters
According to the Florida DOE website, the Business Technology Education Core is a selection of courses recommended in most secondary Business, Management & Administration, Finance Information Technology, and Arts, A/V Technology & Communication career clusters. Until the 2016-17 school year, the BTE Core was a selection of these courses:
- Applied Computer Business Skills I
- Applied Computer Business Skills II
- Computing for College and Careers
- Introduction to Information Technology
Starting in the 2016-17 school year, there was a major change, with the Introduction to Information Technology course replacing all other courses within the BTE Core. Along with that, Introduction to Information Technology was renamed “Digital Information Technology” and some changes were made to the course standards.
Updates to the 8207310 Course Description
One change that is immediately apparent in regards to Introduction to Information Technology being renamed as Digital Information Technology is the update of the Course Description. Even though the course number has remained the same (8207310), the description has been updated to reflect the changes in the course standards described further below.
Introduction to Information Technology Course Description:
This course is designed to provide an introduction to information technology concepts and careers as well as the impact information technology has on the world, people, and industry and basic web design concepts.
The content includes information technology career research; operating systems and software applications; electronic communications including e-mail and Internet services; basic HTML, DHTML, and XML web commands and design; and emerging technologies and web page design.
After successful completion of Introduction to Information Technology, students will have met Occupational Completion Point A, Information Technology Assistant, SOC Code 15-1151.
Digital Information Technology Course Description:
This course is designed to provide a basic overview of current business and information systems and trends, and to introduce students to fundamental skills required for today’s business and academic environments. Emphasis is placed on developing fundamental computer skills. The intention of this course is to prepare students to be successful both personally and professionally in an information based society.
Digital Information Technology includes the exploration and use of: databases, the internet, spreadsheets, presentation applications, management of personal information and email, word processing and document manipulation, HTML, web page design, and the integration of these programs using software that meets industry standards.
After successful completion of this core course, students will have met Occupational Completion Point A, Information Technology Assistant - SOC Code 15-1151.
When reading through the new course description, it indicates more focus on your students learning and developing actual skills as opposed to simply being introduced to concepts.
Detailed Updates for the Digital Information Technology Course Standards
In addition to the course name change, and updates to the course description, some of the CTE Standards and Benchmarks were also changed. There are additions, removals, and re-wording of multiple Florida Curriculum Standards and Benchmarks. Some Benchmarks were also moved from one section to another as part of the reorganization.
The changes listed below are what will have the most impact on updating your curriculum and mapping out lesson plans.
Please note - not all changes are pictured below.
Standard 04.0 - Expansion and Clarification
In CTE Standard 04.0 there were a number of detailed changes to provide clarity with expectations. With the changes, all of the Benchmarks from the old 16.0 Standards were merged into 04.0. You will see a similar “movement” of Benchmarks in a number of other sections when reviewing the full course standards. The changes are as follows:
Standard 07.0 - A New Addition for Digital Information Technology
A major change with the Digital Information Technology standards is the addition of brand new course standards compared to what was in Introduction to Information Technology. The new one for word processing applications is as follows:
Though the old standards had a few related benchmarks, this new addition has much more in-depth requirements in terms of word processing. You will see other additions like this related to using technology for effective communication with the following standards:
- 08.0 - Use technology to enhance communication skills utilizing presentation applications.
- 09.0 - Use technology to enhance the effectiveness of communication utilizing spreadsheet and database applications.
- 10.0 - Use technology to enhance communication skills utilizing electronic mail.
Standard 11.0 - A Focus on Career Exploration
Standard 11.0 heavily focuses on career exploration and planning related to the transition of school to the workplace. This standard has a number of benchmarks moved from other sections that have been reworded, as well as new requirements:
Standard 13.0 - Detailed Updates to Benchmarks
In Standard 13.0 (previously Standard 17.0) there are a number of small wording changes to the benchmarks. These changes include some clarification, and also a generalization of some items, such as search engines.
Standards & Benchmarks Moving in the Course Framework
In some cases, the standards were not changed, but simply moved to a different order when the switch to Digital Information Technology was made. Here is the list of Standards that moved, and therefore received a new Number.
- Old Standard 22.0 is now shown as Standard 05.0
- Old Standard 25.0 is now shown as Standard 06.0
- Old Standard 24.0 is now shown as Standard 15.0
- Old Standard 05.0 is now shown as Standard 17.0
To see the full document of standards for the Digital Information Technology course, view this pdf from the Florida Department of Education site: Digital Information Technology Course 8207310 Standards
How To Meet Changing Florida Curriculum Framework Standards
Now that you know about the updates and changes to the Business Technology Education Core and Digital Information Technology course, where do you go from here?
Read this 36-week course sequence to learn how you can teach DIT with digital curriculum!