N.Z. College Applicants Seek Computing Drivers Licenses

Secondary schools in New Zealand are beginning to certify their students' computing ability, in part to help their graduates compete better in the college environment, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Called the International Computer Driving License (ICDL), the certificate requires students to pass a test-based course on information technology. It is designed to test practical skills rather than information recall in the areas of e-mail and Internet usage, data backup procedures, and security precautions.

Although some view it as a valuable qualification for the job market, others see it as effective way for college applicants to certify skill sets and to prepare for the demands of university-level curricula.

Marshall Gass of De La Salle College in Mangere, N.Z., said when his school introduced ICDL in 2006, one student would turn up at 5:45 a.m. each morning to take courses. "The ICDL was better preparation than any [standardized test] because it had a wide sweep of the subject," said Gass.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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