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Topic: [ME] Increased Use of Computers: Grades K-12
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
[ME] Increased Use of Computers: Grades K-12
Posted: Aug 15, 1999 6:45 PM
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From NSF ...


The nation's most progressive teachers - those using innovative methods
to reach today's children by making school tasks more meaningful - are the
teachers who are most likely to use the Internet in their classrooms.
That's according to the first of 12 planned reports funded by the National
Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Education documenting
computer technology and its use in schools.

"These are non-traditional teachers," said Henry J. Becker, the
study's director at the University of California - Irvine's Department of
Education. "They are willing to take this new domain of 'cyberspace' and
try to integrate it in useful ways into the traditional 'classroom
space,'" he said.

The two reports just released, Internet Use by Teachers: Conditions
of Professional Use and Teacher-Directed Student Use (Report #1) and The
Presence of Computers in American Schools (Report #2), were co-authored
by Becker and Ronald Anderson, a researcher at the University of Minnesota.

Computers are now pervasive in Americans' lives. The series
documents the extent to which computer technologies and the World Wide Web
are becoming integral to U.S. elementary and secondary classrooms.

The entire series of reports, Teaching, Learning and Computing: 1998,
a National Survey of Schools and Teachers, is being released over a
six-month period and examines how teaching and learning are affected by
computer and Internet use in the classroom. The first report in the study
examined teachers' use of computer technology and their teaching styles as
well as their school context. The second study documented the presence
of computers in schools.

According to Report #2, more than 90 percent of schools now have some
level of access to the Internet, and nearly a majority of all 4th through
12th grade teachers have access in their own classrooms. Just one year
ago, 68 percent of teachers reported having used the Internet to construct
lesson plans, and 28 percent reported having done this on a weekly or more
frequent basis.

Becker and Anderson documented changes in the rate schools obtain and
replace computer equipment. In 1992, there was one computer for every 14
students; as of 1998, there was one for every six.

But the authors report challenges. Half of all teachers surveyed
said they need technical support at least also, once a month as they
integrate technology into lessons. Two-thirds of them said timely support
is not available.

The reports' conclusions are based on a national probability sample
of schools and teachers and included more than 4,000 teachers, technology
coordinators, and school principals. The researchers also included
additional samples of schools and teachers specifically because of their
participation in major school reform programs or their unusually extensive
computer technology. This series of reports differs from commercially
available annual surveys of computers in schools in the depth and
comprehensiveness of the analyses.

"The fact that the data is 1998 information is impetus to keep
production of the report series moving," said Becker, "so that conclusions
are useful within the short shelf-life of the rapidly changing technology
environment of our nation's schools."

Ten more reports will be released throughout the fall and winter, to
be published by the Center for Research on Information Technology and
Organizations at the University of California-Irvine.

Editors: Findings to date are available at:


Program contact:
Elizabeth VanderPutten
(703) 306-1650/
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618)453-4244
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)

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