Market data retrieval Internet highlights

Market data retrieval Internet highlights

Twelve percent of public schools report that they subscribe to fee-based online curriculum content according to Technology in Education 2001, a new report from Market Data Retrieval (MDR, Shelton, CT, The report contains the in-depth results of MDR’s annual public school technology survey

That figure is down slightly from last year’s 13%, a drop that MDR attributes to several factors. Online content is a new area with purchases often triggered by an entity in a state taking a leadership role in seeking out and funding online resources. Over 22% of schools in Illinois, for example, subscribe to online content. Other leading states are West Virginia at 20% and Virginia at 19%. The fact that online subscription content is often a state purchase may also lower the number of schools reporting that they subscribe to online curriculum content. MDR also suggests that as teachers become more sophisticated internet users, they are able to make better use of free resources on the web.

Using the Internet for Instructional Purposes

MDR notes that states with low population density, areas where rural schools have limited access to libraries and cultural institutions, more often report using the internet for instructional purposes. Though schools in these states do not necessarily report purchasing online curriculum, they do report that the majority (50% or more) of their teachers use the internet for instructional purposes. In North Dakota, 87% of schools reported such majority use, and South Dakota, Alaska, Kentucky and Nebraska all had 80% or more of schools reporting such majority usage.

Overall, 69% of schools report a majority of teachers using the internet for instruction; 33% of schools report that virtually all (90% or more) of their teachers use the internet for instructional purposes. Using the internet for instructional purposes varies by minority enrollment, ranging from 59% in schools with high minority enrollment to 74% in schools with very low minority enrollment.

Internet Penetration

MDR’s report shows overall internet penetration at 92%, varying by state from a high of 99% in Delaware to a low of 85% in the District of Columbia. 94% of rural schools report internet access compared to 89% of urban schools. The student-to-internet connected computer ratio is 6.8, with access increasing steadily from elementary school to high school. Schools with over 50% minority enrollments averaged 8.5 students per computer with internet access; that compares to 5.6 for schools with fewer than 5% minority enrollments. Schools in districts with higher percentages of students qualifying for the free and reduced-price lunch program average 8.1 students per computer; that compares to 6.5 at the other end of the student need indicator spectrum.

Connection Type

63% of schools access the internet via T1 lines, a figure that has been steadily increasing over the years. Other connection types have dropped off, with individual or network modems accounting for 18%, 56Kb 9%, ISDN 7%, cable modems 8%, T3 lines 2% and digital satellite 1%. Eighty-two percent of high schools report having high-speed internet access (T1, T3, cable modem and/or digital satellite), followed closely by middle/junior high schools at 79%. Sixty-seven percent of elementary schools report high speed access. Seventy-eight percent of the wealthiest schools have high-speed access; only 69% of the poorest group of schools have high-speed access.

Classroom Access

Classroom access is now common with 87% of schools reporting access in the classroom. Of the schools that have extended the internet to the classroom, 85% of their classrooms are connected to the internet. Elementary schools report the highest percentage of internet connected classrooms at 86%.


During the 2000-01 school year, 44% of schools report using internet filtering/monitoring services or software. MDR expects that number to skyrocket as schools comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, which requires schools and libraries receiving support from the E-rate, Title III and the Library Services and Technology Act to implement detailed internet safety policies and to install and use filtering technology.

Teacher Email

An average of 83% of schools report that a majority of teachers have school-based email accounts. The figure varies widely from Idaho, Alaska and Delaware reporting 100% to Connecticut reporting 48%. Over three-fourths of schools indicate that virtually all ( 90% or more) of their teachers have school-based email accounts.

Online Purchases

Just over 20% of schools report purchasing products via the web, either from an e-procurement service or individual sites with e-commerce capabilities. Senior high schools were more prone to online purchases (26%), compared to only 19% of elementary schools.

The report also covers computers for instructional use with issues such as computer intensity, installed base, processor type, multimedia computers, DVD drives, CD-ROM towers, and laptop computers; networking with figures on LANs, wireless networks and WANS; teacher skill level and professional development; and technology expenditures. The report sells for $195 (print or single-use PDF) or $585 for a multi-use PDF version.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Nelson B. Heller & Associates

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group