Business Education | Computer Applications | CTE Career Clusters
Florida Digital Information Technology: How to Meet Course Standards
Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for AES, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students through listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.
As a Florida CTE teacher, it’s crucial to know your standards for teaching courses in business and computer applications. Keeping your requirements in mind is often the difference between providing your learners with precisely what they need and falling short when it comes to evaluations and assessments.
The Florida Digital Information Technology course is one of the most common classes instructors have questions about. Since standards change over time, it’s paramount that your curriculum keeps up with state requirements to ensure your students receive all the information they need.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the specific requirements for the Florida Digital Information Technology course. At the end of the post, you’ll know what your class needs to cover to determine if your curriculum is on track.
What Is the Purpose of the Florida Digital Information Technology Course?
Digital Information Technology is a course (No. 8207310) created by the Florida Department of Education to ensure students develop 21st Century skills necessary for success in business and academic environments.
The course emphasizes “developing fundamental computer skills” to help individuals function effectively in an information-centric society. A broad, introductory course, it covers topics ranging from databases and spreadsheets to basic HTML and webpage design.
Digital Information Technology gives students a solid foundation in basic computer technology through a year-long survey course. Once they complete the course, students will have met the requirements to be an Information Technology Assistant (Florida Occupational Completion Point A, Information Technology Assistant - SOC Code 15-1151).
How Are the Florida Digital Information Technology Course Standards Structured?
The structure for the Digital Information Technology course standards is simple. There are 15 primary CTE standards teachers need to meet. These are numbered 1.0-15.0 on the current Student Performance Standards document from the Florida Department of Education.
Under each of the standards are a series of benchmarks. These are sub-criteria that further define the specifics of each measure. There are between 4 and 9 benchmarks per CTE standard.
What Are the Florida Digital Information Technology Course Requirements?
To meet state requirements, teachers must instruct students in each of the CTE Standards and Benchmarks laid out by the Florida Department of Education.
In this section, we’ll look at the specific Florida curriculum frameworks requirements you’ll have to satisfy for the Digital Information Technology course.
1. Demonstrate knowledge, skill, and application of information technology to accomplish job objectives and enhance workplace performance.
For the first Florida CTE standard, students will need to demonstrate competence in these basic computer skills:
- Develop keyboarding skills to enter and manipulate text and data.
- Describe and use current computer technology and software to perform personal and business-related tasks in the workplace (e.g. e-mail, digital calendars, meetings, appointments).
- Differentiate between types of file systems and classify common file extensions based on software application programs used in the workplace environment.
- Utilize the Internet to find reliable resources and reference materials (e.g. online help, tutorials, manuals).
- Apply research strategies to use and evaluate electronic research technologies for valid and reliable information.
- Demonstrate basic computer file management skills (e.g. naming, saving, retrieving, and organizing).
- Analyze the process of troubleshooting problems with computer hardware peripherals, including input and output devices.
- Describe ethical issues and problems associated with computers and information technology (e.g. fair use, privacy, public domain, copyright, piracy, plagiarism).
- Explain the history and purpose of various operating systems (e.g. DOS, Windows, Mac, and Unix/Linux).
2. Develop an awareness of microcomputers.
Under this criterion, students must show awareness of the basics of microcomputing:
- Explain the general architecture of a microcomputer system.
- Explain the need for and demonstrate proficiency using common peripherals (e.g. printers, mouse, keyboard, external hard drive, flash drive).
- Examine the concepts of computer maintenance and upgrades.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of networks.
To meet this requirement, teachers will need to introduce their students to these concepts related to computer networks:
- Differentiate between types of networks and how they work (e.g. clients, servers, Wi-Fi, teleconference).
- Identify security needs within a network environment (e.g. antivirus software, passwords).
- Distinguish between intranets, extranets and how they relate to the Internet.
- Demonstrate a basic understanding of cloud computing.
4. Use word processing applications to enhance the effectiveness of various types of documents and communication.
Under this standard, learners will need to meet performance benchmarks that demonstrate their competency in the fundamentals of word processing and formatting using software like Google Docs or Microsoft Word:
- Select and use word processing software and accompanying features to create and enhance various written business communications (e.g., memos, reports, block business letters).
- Save and export documents in various formats (e.g. pdf, HTML, blog, hyperlinks).
- Format text content in a document (e.g. font, paragraph attributes, spacing, text styles, text boxes).
- Manipulate page layout and reusable content (e.g. page setup, themes, templates, page backgrounds, headers, and footers).
- Perform various image-editing tasks using word-processing software to create and format images, illustrations, shapes, etc.
- Proofread and revise documents by validating content through the use of word processing tools (e.g. spell check, thesaurus, find/replace, autocorrect settings).
- Insert citations and hyperlinks, create end and footnotes, and create a table of contents in a document.
- Perform various mail merge options, macros, and tracking revisions.
- Demonstrate an understanding of fonts (serif and sans serif) and font styles (bold, italic, etc.).
5. Use presentation applications to enhance communication skills.
Teachers must ensure their students can effectively use presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides to satisfy this course requirement. Specifically, students need to be able to:
- Manage and configure the presentation software environment (e.g. adjusting views, manipulating slide settings, configuring toolbar and file options).
- Use presentation software to format and edit slides (e.g. adding and removing slides, slide layouts, format slide design, insert or format placeholders).
- Locate, create and incorporate graphical and multimedia elements, including shapes, graphics, images, bullets, hyperlinks, video, and audio into a slide presentation.
- Enhance overall visual presentation by applying font selection, design themes, color schemes, templates, etc.
- Create and manipulate graphical and multimedia elements using additional styles and effects (e.g. color selections, tone, contrast, shadows, picture styles).
- Demonstrate various business-related elements that can be created, embedded, and manipulated in a slide presentation, including: charts, graphs, tables, media, spreadsheets, and illustrations.
- Customize presentation settings by using appropriate slide transitions and animations (e.g. on click, rehearsed timings).
- Demonstrate different delivery methods for slide presentations, including: online delivery and sharing, video projection, printing options.
6. Use spreadsheet applications to enhance communication skills.
For this standard, students must understand and effectively use spreadsheet applications such as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. They’ll need to meet these requirements:
- Manipulate the worksheet by using the ribbon tabs, group settings, importing data/database, manipulating properties, files and folders.
- Create cell data and apply auto-fill.
- Format cells and worksheets (e.g. by applying and manipulating cell formats, styles, merging and splitting cells, create row and column titles, hide and unhide column titles, rows and columns, page setup options, and manipulating views/themes).
- Create and analyze formulas and functions (e.g. apply conditional formula logic, name, and cell ranges).
- Create and modify charts and images. (e.g. pivot tables).
- Share worksheet data through various systems (e.g. email, external media, cloud storage, mail merge).
- Analyze and organize data through filters, sorting, and applying conditional formatting. (e.g. macros).
- Interpret data on line graphs, pie charts, diagrams, and tables.
7. Use database applications to store and organize data.
Under this standard, students must develop a rudimentary understanding of database applications like Microsoft Access. Specifically, students must be able to:
- Create different forms for inputting data into a database application.
- Interpret queries for specialized reports using a database application.
- Create and modify a database by importing data from other sources.
- Create and manage database tables by hiding fields, importing data, adding total rows.
- Modify queries by renaming, adding/removing fields, sorting, formatting, and adding calculated fields.
- Create and format reports with multiple columns, calculated fields, and images.
8. Use electronic mail to enhance communication.
For this criterion, students learn the best practices for managing email and using it for professional and personal communication:
- Describe and perform e-mail capabilities and functions (e.g. create, send, & forward messages, organize email folders, manage signature and automated messages, configure message sensitivity, security, and delivery options).
- Perform e-mail activities (e.g. attach external files, save email attachments, view mailbox details, schedule appointments, create contact groups).
- Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical issues associated with electronic correspondences (e.g. employer’s ownership of email, public access of government email, appropriate uses in the workplace, phishing attacks, permanence of electronic communications on the internet).
- Describe the need for and appropriate use of electronic mailing list software applications (e.g. listserv).
9. Investigate individual assessment, job/career exploration, and individual career planning that reflect the transition from school to work, lifelong learning, and personal and professional goals.
To meet these requirements for career exploration, students must take steps related to career readiness:
- Analyze personal skills and aptitudes in comparison with various business-related job and career options. (i.e. hard and soft skills).
- Use career resources to develop and analyze occupations and opportunities for internships, continuing education, and on-the-job training.
- Exhibit job-seeking skills required for entry-level employment, including resume, online job search, cover letter, online/hard copy application, mock interview, interview thank you letter and follow-up call.
- Design, implement, and evaluate a plan to facilitate growth and skill development related to anticipated job requirements and career expectations.
- Demonstrate an awareness of specific job requirements and career paths (e.g. education, certifications, skills, previous experience) in business environments.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the potential impact of local and global trends on career plans and life goals.
- Describe the importance of building community and mentor relationships in a variety of professional and workplace situations.
- Simulate work-based projects in an information technology environment.
10. Incorporate appropriate leadership and supervision techniques, customer service strategies, and standards of personal ethics to accomplish job objectives and enhance workplace performance.
This CTE standard is all about teaching the fundamentals of effective workplace management. Students should demonstrate these qualities of good business management:
- Demonstrate awareness of the following workplace essentials: quality customer service; business ethics; confidentiality of information; copyright violations; accepted workplace rules, regulations, policies, procedures, processes, and workplace safety; and appropriate attire and grooming.
- Demonstrate ways of accepting and providing constructive criticism to enhance team projects.
- Apply appropriate strategies to manage and resolve conflicts in work situations.
- Demonstrate personal and interpersonal skills appropriate for the workplace (e.g., responsibility, dependability, punctuality, integrity, positive attitude, initiative, respect for self and others, and professional dress).
11. Demonstrate competence using computer networks, the internet, and online databases to facilitate collaborative or individual learning and communication.
To fulfill this requirement, students will need to bring together their knowledge of several aspects of information technology. Specifically, they’ll need to:
- Demonstrate how to connect to the Internet and identify and describe web terminology, addresses, and how browsers work.
- Demonstrate proficiency using basic features of GUI (Graphical User Interface) browsers, including bookmarks, basic configurations, email configurations, and address books.
- Describe appropriate browser security configurations.
- Describe information technology terminology, including the internet, intranet, ethics, copyright laws, and regulatory control.
- Demonstrate proficiency using search engines and search tools (e.g. Boolean search strategies).
- Use various web tools, including downloading files, transfer of files, extensions, PDF, plug-ins, and data compression.
- Differentiate between different domain extensions (e.g. .com, .org, .gov, .edu, etc.).
12. Develop awareness of computer languages, web-based and software applications, and emerging technologies.
In addition to using computer applications, learners also need to know some of the more technical aspects of information technology:
- Compare and contrast the appropriate use of various software applications. (e.g. word processing, desktop publishing, graphic design, web browser, e-mail, presentation, database, scheduling, financial management, Java applet, music).
- Explain and describe the need for web-based applications (e.g. sharing photos and video clips, messaging, chatting, and collaborating.
- Express an understanding of basic terminology used in programming (e.g. algorithm, binary, code, block-based, objects, functions).
- Compare and contrast emerging technologies and describe how they impact business in the global marketplace (e.g. wireless networks, tablets, cell phones, satellite technology, nanotechnology, smart devices, home networks).
13. Demonstrate an understanding of basic HTML by creating a simple web page.
For this criterion, learners must complete basic exercises in computer coding and editing:
- Create a basic web page.
- Use basic storyboarding techniques.
- Use basic functions of WYSIWYG editors.
- Use basic functions of HTML, DHTML, and XML editors and converters.
- Enhance web pages through the addition of images and graphics.
14. Demonstrate comprehension and communication skills.
Effective communication is elemental to success in today’s workplace. To meet this standard, students must demonstrate these communication skills and competencies:
- Read and comprehend technical and non-technical reading assignments related to course content (e.g., manuals, books, magazines, electronic sources).
- Use verbal and nonverbal skills to communicate effectively with supervisors, co-workers, and customers.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the writing process to create business documents (e.g. research methods, paper formatting (MLA/APA)).
- Demonstrate an awareness of project management concepts and tools (e.g., timelines, deadlines, resource allocation, time management, delegation of tasks, collaboration).
15. Use social media to enhance online communication and develop an awareness of a digital footprint.
Students will need to show they understand social media and can use it in a professional context for this final CTE standard. Learners will need to:
- Create and develop a professional social media presence (e.g., LinkedIn) to connect with potential employers, follower influencers, enhance networking opportunities, develop soft skills through written communication, and establish a professional business image.
- Cultivate and manage awareness of digital identity and reputation.
- Develop awareness of the permanence of actions and social awareness in the digital world.
- Develop awareness of data-collection technology contributing to their digital footprint.
Meet Your Florida Curriculum Frameworks for Digital Information Technology
Digital Information Technology is among the most important CTE courses for Florida students in business and computer technology career clusters. If you follow the curriculum frameworks in your instruction, you’re well on your way to ensuring your students are prepared for the technological challenges they’ll face as future professionals.
But you might still be wondering: how do I actually go about meeting these standards in my day-to-day instruction?
While Florida instructors successfully teach DIT with various methods, we’ve found that many educators are the most effective when using a comprehensive curriculum system.
To learn how other Florida educators use a curriculum system to teach Digital Information Technology, read this article. You’ll find specific advice on leading a 36-week course that satisfies your DIT standards.