A survey of school personnel in more than 100 California school
districts reports a significant percentage of student do not have
internet access at home, and almost 99 percent of the responding
educators felt students with broadband internet access at home had an
advantage over students without such access.
“The survey results reaffirm my belief in the importance of broadband
internet access for students and families,” said County Superintendent
of Schools Randy Ward. “We have been promoting this issue at every
opportunity, and these results are completely consistent with what we’ve
been saying. This is an equity issue, and until there is equal access
to broadband internet in all students’ homes, a large percentage of our
students are going to be at a significant disadvantage in school.”
Half the responding educators felt that at least 40 percent of their
students did not have home internet access. The finding has implications
not only for student achievement and the type of work teachers assign,
but also for the way teachers and administrators communicate with
parents, and the amount of time that communication requires.
Nearly 90 percent of the respondents (87.5 percent) felt the lack of a
computer and internet access affected the quality of student work. And
more than 80 percent of the respondents believed that students’ internet
access at home had an impact on teachers’ ability to extend the
learning day. Educators have long believed that extending the learning
day had great potential to raise student achievement.
In addition, more than 60 percent of the respondents said most of the
teachers in their school districts used classroom websites to help
extend learning and communicate with students and families.
Despite the inequities, nearly 80 percent of the respondents indicated
they either are, or are planning to incorporate on-line learning modules
in their school districts.
The survey also included questions about online courses, cyber-bullying,
and the federal E-rate discount program that provides funding for
technology at schools.