But when teachers dive a little deeper, they realize there are multiple IC3 certification options available!
To help you navigate the complicated world of IC3 certifications, we’ll discuss the two most common options: IC3 Spark and IC3 GS5.
But before we get into the differences, it’s important to understand the IC3 digital literacy program as a whole!
What Is the IC3 Digital Literacy Certification Program?
The term “IC3” stands for Internet Core Competency Certification. It’s the worldwide benchmark of a student’s understanding of computer-based technology.
The IC3 certifications were developed by Certiport, a subsidiary of the Pearson textbook company. According to Certiport, more than 3 million students in 78 countries have taken an IC3 Digital Literacy certification exam.
One reason so many teachers are choosing IC3 is because Certiport is a well-established certification provider.
In addition, teachers like IC3 because they see two big benefits for their students.
The first benefit is that students who pass the exam receive industry-recognized credentials. Even more importantly, the IC3 program reinforces foundational skills students need for success in school and careers!
So with that in mind, how is the IC3 Digital Literacy program structured?
How Is the IC3 Digital Literacy Program Structured?
Both the IC3 Spark and IC3 GS5 have the same basic structure that covers three distinct computer-related areas.
These areas are:
The Computing Fundamentals portion focuses on the foundational understanding of computing. You’ll find topics such as operating systems, computer hardware, and computer software.
Though these three sections are found on both the IC3 Spark and IC3 GS5 exams, the level of detail and information vastly differs!
So, let’s start looking at the differences starting with the IC3 Spark certification.
What Is the IC3 Spark Certification?
The IC3 Spark certification is a digital literacy certification designed for younger students who are not familiar with computers, the Internet, and other digital concepts.
As mentioned above, the IC3 Spark exam is made up of Computing Fundamentals, Living Online, and Key Applications. These areas are broken down into 12 subsections, which Certiport refers to as “objective domains.”
The 12 IC3 Spark objective domains are:
Operating system basics
Computer hardware and concepts
Computer software and concepts
Common application features
Word processing activities
Students are tested for their knowledge in these 12 areas when they sit for the IC3 Spark exam. The exam has 45 questions and students are given 50 minutes to complete it.
When a student passes the IC3 Spark exam, they receive an IC3 Spark Global Digital Literacy Certificate, which acknowledges their accomplishment.
Overall the IC3 Spark certification is an excellent way for you to measure the knowledge of middle school students.
Now, you may be thinking: I teach high school students!
Luckily, that’s where the IC3 GS5 certification comes into play!