Center for Instructional Support

Digital Literacy and Computer Science (DLCS)

Digital Literacy and Computer Science (DLCS) knowledge, reasoning, and skills are essential both to prepare students for personal and civic efficacy in the twenty-first century and to prepare and inspire a much larger and more diverse number of students to pursue the innovative and creative careers of the future. In Massachusetts, DLCS instruction includes the areas of computing and society, digital tools and collaboration, computing systems, and computational thinking.

Although, Digital Literacy, Information Technology and Computer Science are distinctive in nature, it is essential to take an inclusive approach to teaching and preparing our students for today's modern society.

The standards represent the core elements of digital literacy and computer science, not the totality of each.

DLCS Learning Standards


DLCS Curriculum Planning

Professional Development Resources and Recordings
Review Rubrics:

Piloting new curriculum? DESE and EDC have developed rubrics to help educators determine the quality, rigor, and alignment of lessons and units to the 2016 MA DLCS Curriculum Framework.
This guide helps school districts choose the computer science (CS) curricula that best suit their communities' needs. The guide was developed as part of an initiative for school districts to accelerate the creation of classroom opportunities for learning CS that are standards based, high quality, career relevant, and accessible to all students at all grade levels.
Students may take courses offered by a CMVS if the district and the CMVS have entered into an agreement to provide such courses. As for any coursework outside of school, parents/guardians should know in advance how the virtual course will be treated in terms of grades, course credit, and grade point average (GPA). Two virtual schools currently operate in Massachusetts: Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School (GCVS) and TEC Connections Academy Commonwealth Virtual School (TECCA).
Expanding access to high-quality, standards-aligned curricular materials can significantly improve student outcomes, especially when teachers have the professional learning opportunities they need to make the most of those materials. The Center for Instructional Support at DESE is committed to ensuring that all students in Massachusetts enjoy the many benefits of a strong curriculum.

DLCS Instructional Resources


The Digital Literacy and Computer Science Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) will be available in late September 2021!

Once an MTEL becomes available, the competency review process for DLCS licensure will end. This is the case regardless of where a candidate is in their pursuit of a DLCS license, including those enrolled in an educator preparation program. Please note that there is a delay in score reporting when a new test is first released. Information about what will be on the test can be found on the Pearson MTEL webpage. Candidates can register for the test on the Evaluation Systems Group (ES) of Pearson website.

DLCS 5–12 License
  • Interested in getting the 5–12 DLCS Teacher License?

    The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) for this license is coming in late September 2021. Until the MTEL is operational, the Competency Review Process is used for this license. For more information on licensure please refer to the Office of Educator Licensure and the Licensure Requirement Tool.

  • What are the 5–12 DLCS Teacher subject matter knowledge requirements?

    Digital Literacy and Computer Science — Grades 5–12

    1. Computing and Society
      1. Understand safety and security concepts, security and recovery strategies, and how to deal with cyberbullying and peer pressure in a social computing setting. (Standards: 6-8.CAS.a and 9-12.CAS.a)
      2. Understand, analyze impact and intent of, and apply technology laws, license agreements and permissions. (Standards: 6-8.CAS.b and 9-12.CAS.b)
      3. Recognize, analyze, and evaluate the impact of technology, assistive technology, technology proficiencies, and cybercrime in people's lives, commerce, and society. (Standards: 6-8.CAS.c and 9-12.CAS.c)
    2. Digital Tools & Collaboration and Computing Systems
      1. Selection and use of digital tools or resources and computing devices to create an artifact, solve a problem, communicate, publish online or accomplish a real-world task. (Standards: 6-8.DTC.a, 9-12.DTC.a, 6-8.DTC.b, 9-12.DTC.b, 6-8.CS.a and 9-12.CS.a)
      2. Use of advance research skills including advanced searches, digital source evaluation, synthesis of information and appropriate digital citation. (Standards: 6-8.DTC.c and 9-12.DTC.c)
      3. Understand how computing device components work. Use of troubleshooting strategies to solve routine hardware and software problems. (Standards: 6-8.CS.a, 9-12.CS.a, 6-8.CS.b, and 9-12.CS.b)
      4. Understand how networks communicate, their vulnerabilities and issues that may impact their functionality. Evaluate the benefits of using a service with respect to function and quality. (Standards: 6-8.CS.c, 9-12.CS.c, 6-8.CS.d, and 9-12.CS.d)
    3. Computational Thinking
      1. Creation of new representations, through generalization and decomposition. Write and debug algorithms in a structured language. (Standards: 6-8.CT.a, 9-12.CT.a, 6-8.CT.b, and 9-12.CT.b)
      2. Understand how different data representation affects storage and quality. Create, modify, and manipulate data structures, data sets, and data visualizations. (Standards: 6-8.CT.c and 9-12.CT.c)
      3. Decompose tasks/problems into sub-problems to plan solutions. (Standards: 6-8.CT.d and 9-12.CT.d)
      4. Creation of programs using an iterative design process to create an artifact or solve a problem. (Standards: 6-8.CT.d and 9-12.CT.d)
      5. Creation of models and simulations to formulate, test, analyze, and refine a hypothesis. (Standards: 6-8.CT.e and 9-12.CT.e)

  • I have been teaching DLCS for some time now, how can I get credit for my teaching experience?

    One of the options for demonstrating subject matter knowledge (SMK) coverage in the new Competency Review Guide is successful teaching experience (DLCS only). To help teachers and administrators identify which SMKs were covered in each course, DLCS Implementation Panel produced several 'Teachers Helping Teachers Resources.' The Course Code and SMK Coverage resource was developed based on the course descriptions or learning objectives for trademark courses (AP, ECS, PLTW, etc.). The course descriptions for most course codes do not include learning objectives and are quite brief: the actual course taught may cover more SMKs then those listed in this resource. This resource is the start of the conversation between the teacher candidate and administrator in identifying which SMKs to include in the 'Successful School-Based Teaching Experience Verification Letter.'

  • I have an Instructional Technology Specialist or Instructional Technology Teacher license, do the subject matter knowledge requirements overlap?

    To assist teachers and administrators in the licensure process, the DLCS Implementation Panel produced several 'Teachers Helping Teachers Resources.' The legacy Instructional Technology and DLCS subject matter knowledge requirement crosswalk resource identified three overlapping requirements. DLCS subject matter knowledge requirements #1, 2, and 3 are met by the legacy Instructional Technology licenses.

Professional Development Resources
This overview presentation is designed to provide an overview of the 2016 DLCS Framework and includes the following sections:
  • The Need
  • Vision
  • Overview of the Framework
  • Implementation
DLCS Framework: 11/14/2017 MA STEM Summit

This presentation is designed to provide an overview of the 2016 DLCS Framework implementation and licensure.
This site is a resource for professional development leaders to support the development of high quality professional development. It includes case studies and tools to support professional development planning and assessment.
Classroom Resources
Broadening Participation of Elementary Students and Teachers in Computer Science

Broadening Participation of Elementary Students and Teachers in Computer Science is an NSF project that partners ESE, the Education Development Center (EDC) and school districts around the state. This partnership is developing and piloting instructional curriculum modules to facilitate implementation of the computational thinking strand of the 2016 Digital Literacy and Computer Science standards in grades 1-6.

Project Goals:
  • Design, develop and pilot 18 integrated modules (I-Mods)
  • Build the capacity of Massachusetts elementary school teachers to integrate CT into their math and/or science units
  • Integrate this work into educational infrastructure for standards/curriculum development and scale-up.
DLCS Networks and Associations
DLCS Data: Participation and Job Market

DLCS Contact

NamePhone Number
Anne DeMallie781-338-3527
Paula Moore781-338-3529

Last Updated: July 9, 2021

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.