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  • 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

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

      The Digital Literacy and Computer Science Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) is now available as of September 2021. Please note that there is a delay in score reporting when a new test is first released. The previously-used competency review process is no longer available for educators seeking licensure. Information about what is 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.

      Please use the Licensure Requirements Tool which identifies the requirements for a particular license.

    Professional Development Resources
    This 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.

    CSforMA and MassCUE are two organizations in Massachusetts dedicated to Digital Literacy, Computer Science, and the integration of technology in education. They provide various professional development opportunities throughout the school year.
    A free, on-line, self-paced course created by the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia State University, and ISTE.
    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.
    AP Computer Science Principles: AP Computer Science Principles is an AP computer science course created to "attract students from a broader range of groups to computer science." (CollegeBoard)
    Exploring Computer Science is a high school introductory computer science course.

    Classroom Resources
    Provides an evaluated list of Digital Literacy and Computer Science curricula. Shows alignment of curricula with Massachusetts DLCS standards. This guide is helpful to districts in selecting quality curriculum to use for K–12 DLCS instruction.

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

    The project website includes a computational thinking handbook, integrated modules that include graphic resources, student pages, and a teacher's guide, and recorded computational thinking webinars.

    Tips developed by Harvey Mudd College research through funding by the National Science Foundation. These tips for CS education include how to recruit students, identify opportunities for inclusive teaching strategies, and practice responding to microaggressions.
    Free teaching lessons and associated materials to begin teaching Computer Science without using a computer.
    Resources to advocate for and teach Computer Science
    AP Computer Science Principles: AP Computer Science Principles is an AP computer science course created to "attract students from a broader range of groups to computer science." (CollegeBoard)
    Exploring Computer Science is a high school introductory computer science course.

    DLCS Networks and Associations
    DLCS Data: Participation and Job Market

    DLCS Contact

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

    Last Updated: April 27, 2022

    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.