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Highlights from National Center for Statistics Report 2001

The INTIME project goal is to develop online resources for methods faculty in teacher preparation programs to use in their curriculum to help prepare preservice teachers to effectively integrate technology in their teaching. Additionally, these online tools can help inservice teachers upgrade their knowledge of technology integration and revise their lessons and units to improve student learning.

The National Center for Education Statistics survey of 2001 recently addressed the importance of teachers’ knowledge of modern media and technology skills and of its place in the PreK-12 teaching and learning processes. This document points to the immense progress in computer and Internet accessibility made in U.S. public schools since 1994.

The information presented in the Center report makes theINTIME project even more relevant and necessary in the total picture of how preservice, inservice, and methods teachers can improve student learning at all levels through the use of technology presently available in U.S. educational institutions.

The National Center for Education Statistics surveyed 1,104 public schools, by categories of free or reduced lunch program, class size, and poverty, from 1994 through 2000 and found no statistically significant differences based on any of the categories.  The survey researched the following issues:

  1. Access to the Internet in public schools and classrooms

  2. Ratio of students to instructional computers in public schools with and without Internet connection

  3. Types of Internet connections used

  4. Status on Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) (Acceptable use policies are policies laid down to control or monitor the student access to inappropriate material on the Internet.)

Findings of the Survey (published in May 2001)

  1. In 2000 98% of schools are connected to the Internet, compared with 35% of schools in 1994. 

    This significant increase in the access to the Net is attributed to the E-rate program, part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was implemented to create a competitive telecommunications marketplace for consumers. E-rate provides discounts to public and private schools on telecommunication services, Internet access, and Internet networking. The E-rate program offers discounted rates for connection based on (a) income levels and (b) urban or rural setting.  A total of $5.8 billion has been committed to E-rate applicants throughout the nation.

     

  2.  

    1. In 2000 77% of public school classrooms had computers with/without Internet access, compared with 3% in 1994. 

    2. The ratio of students to instructional computers in public schools for 2000 is 5 to1. 

    3. The ratio of students to instructional computers with Internet access in public schools is 7 to  1 in 2000, compared with 9 to 1 in 1999.

  3. Types of Internet connections used: 56KB, T1/DS1, fractionalized T1, T3/DS3, fractionalized T3.

    1. Dedicated lines: 77% 

      T1/DS1 – 1.544Mbps, usually used by large organizations where a customer pays for a set bandwidth level, and T3/DS3 – used by a customer who requires a greater bandwidth level. (A T3 line equates to 28 T1 lines; a customer does not pay for a set bandwidth level and can choose from 256K, 512K or 768K levels of bandwidth.)  86% of secondary schools and 74% of elementary schools have dedicated lines.  

    2. Dial up connections (not a continuous connection): 11%

    3. Other connection types: 24% (such as  ISDN, wireless connection, and cable modems; generally continuous connections similar to dedicated lines)

  4. In 2000, 54% of public schools (80% of secondary schools and 46% of elementary schools) had Internet access outside regular school hours.

  5. Currently 98% of schools use AUPs.

    Access monitored by teachers – 94% of schools

    Use of filtering software – 74%

    Honor codes – 64%

    Intranet – 28%

    More than one procedure – 91%

Reference

         U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. (2001). Internet access in U.S. public schools and classrooms: 1994-2000 (NCES 2001-071). Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement