The Computer & Online Essentials module covers the main concepts and skills needed for using computers and devices, file and application management, networks, online information, online communication, and safety.

It would be an understatement to say that today’s average student is familiar with technology, whether they’re chatting on social media, sharing short videos, playing video games, or sharing reports, the majority of school-age children see technology as the norm. However, being familiar with day-to-day technology does not mean that they understand how to use devices and online tools required in today’s learning environment and the future workplace.

The Computer and Online Essentials module provides students with the basic digital skills required to use a computer safely and effectively. Students will also learn how to source credible information and communicate safely online. This module is ideal for students starting off on their digital skills learning path.

Develop essential skills to use a computer and communicate safely online

Module overview

Category Skill set
Computers and devices
  • Hardware
  • Software
Managing files and applications
  • Introducing file management
  • Organising files and folders

  • Storage

  • Managing applications
  • Network concepts

  • Network access
Online Communication
  • Communication tools
  • Sending email
  • Receiving email

  • Email tools and settings

  • Organising emails

  • Using calendars
  • Computers, devices and data
  • Wellbeing and accessibility

  • Environment

Main Learning Outcomes

  • Understand key concepts and carry out key activities relating to hardware and software
  • Manage files and folders, store data
  • Understand network concepts and connect to a network
  • Find and manage online information effectively, and manage browser settings
  • Understand considerations relating to the effective use of common communication tools
  • Send, receive, and manage emails, and use calendars.
  • Understand potential threats and ways to protect computers, devices, and data.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module the students will be able to:

  • Understand key concepts relating to ICT, computers, devices and software.
  • Start up and shut down a computer
  • Work effectively on the computer desktop using icons, windows
  • Adjust the main operating system settings and use built-in help features
  • Create a simple document and print an output
  • Know about the main concepts of file management and be able to efficiently organise files and folders
  • Understand key storage concepts and use utility software to compress and extract large files
  • Understand network concepts and connection options and be able to connect to a network
  • Understand the importance of protecting data and devices from malware, and the importance of backing up data
  • Recognise considerations relating to green IT, accessibility, and user health


The detailed syllabus for the Computer and Essentials module is publicly available, so that there is complete clarity about what is covered.

The syllabus document, which sets out the specific skills and knowledge that you will learn and against which you will be certified, can be downloaded here.

Offer ICDL in your school

ICDL is a global digital skills certification. With a wide range of courses to choose from, ICDL offers the real world digital skills your students need to excel and become more productive learners, employees, entrepreneurs and citizens.

To offer ICDL to your learners, students and staff you will need to become an ICDL Accredited Test Centre (ATC).


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