The National Center for Education Statistics reported this week that 92 percent of instructional rooms in U.S. public schools were connected to the Internet as of fall 2002, compared with 27 percent in 1997, the year before the E-rate program began providing schools and libraries with discounts on products and services to help them take advantage of the Internet.
The findings were part of "Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994-2002," an annual survey tracking the growth in technology in the nation's schools. Among other things, the report found:
• In 2002, 94 percent of public schools with Internet access used broadband connections to access the Internet, up from 85 percent the year before. The survey found that broadband usage increased with school size.
• 23 percent of public schools with Internet access used wireless Internet connections . Fifteen percent of public classrooms had wireless Internet connections. The survey marked the first time NCES asked the question.
• 86 percent of public schools had a Web site or Web page, up from 75 percent the year before.
The survey also includes data on tech support, student-to-computer ratios, availability of computers outside of regular school hours, hand-held computers, laptop computer loans, professional development and online safety.
The full report is available at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2004/2004011.pdf.