So you think you are web literate?

Mozilla published the first version of its Web Literacy Standard – an open learning standard outlining the skills and competencies people need to read, write and participate effectively on the web.

Mozilla explained that its Web Literacy Standard is a map of competencies which are important to “pay attention to when getting better at reading, writing and participating on the web”.

The Web Literacy Standard project, which started in early 2012, aims to create a new, open learning standard for web literacy.

Mozilla explained that their new web literacy standard is not just about coding.

“The web literacy standard covers every part of web literacy—from learning basic coding skills to a base knowledge about privacy and safety,” said Mozilla.

The Mozilla Web Literacy Standard is made up of three strands – Exploring, Building and Connecting. Each strand has a number of competencies, which are further sub-divided into skills.

Web Literacy Standard
Web Literacy Standard

The following lists from Mozilla provides an overview of the new Web Literacy Standard (more information here).

Web Literacy Standard


Navigating the web


  • Using software tools to browse the web
  • Accessing the web using the common features of web browsers
  • Using hyperlinks to access a range of resources on the web
  • Reading, evaluating, and manipulating URLs
  • Recognizing the visual cues in everyday web services
  • Using browser add-ons and extensions to provide additional functionality

Web Mechanics

  • Understanding the web ecosystem
  • Using and understanding the differences between URLs, IP addresses and search terms
  • Managing information from various sources on the web
  • Demonstrating the difference between the results of varying search strategies


  • Locating information, people and resources via the web
  • Using keywords, search operators, and keyboard shortcuts to make web searches more efficient
  • Finding real-time or time-sensitive information using a range of search techniques
  • Locating or finding desired information within search results
  • Synthesizing information found from online resources through multiple searches


  • Critically evaluating information found on the web
  • Making judgments based on technical and design characteristics to assess the credibility of information
  • Researching authorship and ownership of websites and their content
  • Comparing information from a number of sources to judge the trustworthiness of content
  • Discriminating between ‘original’ and derivative web content


  • Keeping systems, identities, and content safe
  • Detecting online scams and ‘phishing’ by employing recognized tools and techniques
  • Encrypting data and communications using software and add-ons
  • Changing the default behavior of websites, add-ons and extensions to make web browsing more secure


Creating for the web

Composing for the web

  • Creating and curating content for the web
  • Inserting hyperlinks into a web page
  • Embedding multimedia content into a web page
  • Creating web resources in ways appropriate to the medium/genre
  • Identifying and using HTML tags
  • Structuring a web page


  • Modifying existing web resources to create something new
  • Identifying and using openly-licensed work
  • Combining multimedia resources
  • Creating something new on the web using existing resources

Design and Accessibility

  • Creating universally effective communications through web resources
  • Identifying the different parts of a web page using industry-recognized terms
  • Improving the accessibility of a web page by modifying its color scheme and markup
  • Iterating on a design after feedback from a target audience
  • Reorganizing the structure of a web page to improve its hierarchy conceptual flow
  • Demonstrating the difference between inline, embedded and external CSS


  • Creating interactive experiences on the web
  • Explaining the differences between client-side and server-side scripting
  • Composing working loops and arrays
  • Reading and explaining the structure of code
  • Using a script framework
  • Adding code comments for clarification and attribution


  • Understanding the Internet stack
  • Understanding and labeling the web stack
  • Explaining the differences between the web and the Internet
  • Exporting and backing up your data from web services
  • Moving the place(s) where your data is hosted on the web
  • Securing your data against malware and computer criminals


Participating on the web

Sharing and Collaborating

  • Jointly creating and providing access to web resources
  • Sharing a resource using an appropriate tool and format for the audience
  • Tracking changes made to co-created web resources
  • Choosing a web tool to use for a particular contribution/collaboration
  • Co-creating web resources
  • Configuring notifications to keep up to date with community spaces and interactions
  • Using synchronous and asynchronous tools to communicate with web communities, networks and groups

Community Participation

  • Getting involved in web communities and understanding their practices
  • Encouraging participation in web communities
  • Using constructive criticism in a group or community setting
  • Configuring settings within tools used by online communities
  • Participating in both synchronous and asynchronous discussions
  • Expressing opinions appropriately in web discussions
  • Defining different terminology used within online communities


  • Examining the consequences of sharing data online
  • Identifying rights retained and removed through user agreements
  • Taking steps to secure non-encrypted connections
  • Explaining ways in which computer criminals are able to gain access to user information
  • Managing the digital footprint of an online persona
  • Identifying and taking steps to keep important elements of identity private

Open Practices

  • Helping to keep the web democratic and universally accessible
  • Distinguishing between open and closed licensing
  • Making web resources available under an open license
  • Using and sharing files in open, web-friendly formats when appropriate
  • Contributing to an Open Source project

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So you think you are web literate?