Being Connected Isn't Enough

We now provide Internet access throughout the campus. However, in a recent technology committee meeting the students and parents complained about lack of access to the Web. What else can we do?

Reports listing the percentage of schools with Internet connections may make us think that we've come a long way. If establishing connectivity is one's only goal, that may be correct. However, a recent survey (December, 2003) paints a different picture. In it students were asked about their online experiences at school. Most said that their home Internet connections are faster, and nearly one-half of the students (49%) said that they actually have very little online time while at school. Part of the problem stems from the fact that school infrastructures often aren't able to handle large numbers of simultaneous users. But teachers' lack of experience in meaningfully integrating technology into classroom activities is also an issue. These are two areas you need to explore more fully with your committee.

You can access the survey at "Children, Families, and the Internet".

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young