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woman at computerRESEARCH AND DATA

On this page, you will find a variety of reports (and links to reports), both current and from over the past several years, containing information and research about life and education online.


A new report from the Washington, D.C.-based Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) provides a glimpse at must-have technologies for schools. Radio-frequency identification (RFID), student Web logs (blogs), and intelligent essay graders are a few of the technologies examined in "Hot Technologies for K-12 Schools," released in November 2004 by CoSN. In preparing the guide, CoSN's Emerging Technologies Committee (ETC) identified five key educational issues facing schools today: the instructional process, assessment and evaluation, diverse learning styles, community building, and improving the efficiency of school administration.
For more information, read the eSchool News online article on the report, "CoSN Profiles 'Must Have' Technologies," at (free registration may be required).

The executive summary is available on the CoSN Web site, at

A new report from The Education Trust documents a growing disparity in the level of state and local funding that goes to wealthy and poor K-12 districts in the country. According to "Funding Gap 2004," issued in October, the disparity is upward of $1,300 per student when the extra cost of educating low-income students is factored into the equation. Looking at revenue figures for the 2001-02 school year (the last year for which data was available), the report finds that in 25 of the 49 states studied, the districts in which families experience the highest levels of poverty receive fewer resources than those with the lowest numbers of households living in poverty. The full copy of the report, which includes recommendations on how states can close the funding gap, is available online at


Education and technology forces have converged this year to vault computer-based testing into the headlines, raising important questions about whether this new mode of assessment is more useful than traditional paper-and-pencil exams. To give educators a head start on understanding computer-based testing, Technology Counts 2003—the sixth edition of Education Week's annual report on educational technology in the 50 states and DC—examines these new developments from a host of angles, beginning with an analysis of the impact of the No Child Left Behind law. Surprisingly, perhaps, the story points out that the law is having the effect of both encouraging and discouraging the use of computerized assessments. View Technology Counts 2003 (free registration required).


Education Week's seventh annual report on state efforts in education focuses on the "teacher gap"--the dearth of well-qualified teachers in high-need schools. The report examines possible causes and solutions for the gap and brings together extensive data on the states' teacher-quality initiatives. Quality Counts 2003 also charts progress in other facets of states' education systems, providing state report cards, profiles, and extensive data tables. Read the report online here.


The generation that grew up with the personal computer now is heavily wired on campus and relies on the Internet in every dimension of college life. Fully 86% of college students use the Internet, compared to 59% of the overall U.S. population, and the students say the Internet is essential to their academic and social lives. Among the key findings in a report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project titled, "The Internet Goes to College": 79% of college Internet users say the Internet has had a positive impact on their college academic experience; *73% use the Internet more than the library for research; 56% believe that email has enhanced their relationship with professors; and 46% say email enables them to express ideas to a professor that they would not have expressed in class. Prof. Steve Jones, lead author of the study and head of the department of communication at the University of Illinois, said "The students made clear that the Internet is the information cornerstone of their lives not just on school projects but on every subject that matters to them. The reason we care is that these students will be taking their online habits and expectations into their lives after college and that will likely lead to significant changes in work and leisure."


Early in 1999, through the generous support of Bell-Atlantic, VISMT was able to offer grants to schools that paid for technical support for network planning and maintenance as well as general support for other hardware/software. The view expressed by Bell Atlantic (and supported by VISMT) was that many schools in Vermont were incapable of using their technology resources to their full potential because of the lack of adequate technical support. Click here to read more.

One Year Later: September 11 and the Internet

More than two-thirds of Americans (69%) say the government should do everything it can to keep information out of terrorists’ hands, even if that means the public will be deprived of information it needs or wants. A majority of Internet users oppose government monitoring of people’s email and Web activities. These are among the findings in a new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The results are published in a report entitled “One Year Later: September 11 and the Internet.” It is a wide-ranging examination of what people feel government disclosure policies should be, how Americans’ online behavior has changed since 9/11, and how the Web itself changed as producers responded to the crisis. Click here to view a copy of the report.

Study Says Vermont Near Top in Home Computers for Children

(As reported in the Burlington Free Press, July 31, 2002) About 60 percent of Vermont homes with children own a computer with access to the Internet, according to a report that ranked the states. Vermont came in third. "We definitely think that's a good thing," said Nicole Saginor, the associate executive director of Vermont Institutes, an organization being formed from the original Vermont Institute for Science, Math and Technology in Montpelier. "We live in a technological world," Saginor said. "We want them to be prepared to access whatever the rest of the world can access." "Connecting Kids to Technology," a report written for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, ranked New Hampshire first in its listing of households with children ages 3 to 17 that have access to the Internet. Mississippi and the District of Columbia tied for last place on the list with 31 percent. Click here to review the report (PDF).

TECHNOLOGY COUNTS 2002: E-Defining Education

"Technology Counts 2002," EDUCATION WEEK's fifth annual 50-state report on educational technology, was released Thursday, May 9, 2002. This year's report focuses on how state and district e-learning initiatives--such as online teaching and testing, virtual schools, and Web-based curricula--are changing the education landscape. The report also includes the latest state-by-state data on access, capacity, and use of technology in America's public schools.


Education Week's sixth annual report on public education focuses on the states' efforts in early-childhood education, finding growing investments but large gaps in quality. Includes state report cards on K-12 improvement efforts and a new data search on state school-quality indicators. Click here to review.


A 10-year national investment in wiring schools, libraries, and other public centers has made a tremendous difference in bridging a Digital Divide defined as the gap between those people with access to communications and technology tools and those without it. In fact the current Administration has pointed to the gains made across all groups to scale back government funding for a variety of technology programs. The reports, linked from an article in Edutopia, the George Lucas Foundation's newsletter, make important contributions to the debate around the Digital Divide. They explore the nation's successes in bridging the divide as well as the challenges it faces in determining next steps. Among the reports listed are:

  • "Latinos and Information Technology: The Promise and the Challenge" This report provides a comprehensive look at the Hispanic Digital Divide.
  • "Online Content for Low-Income and Underserved Americans: An Issue Brief"
    This report looks at the extent to which the Internet offers content and tools for the estimated 50 million Americans with low incomes, limited-literacy or language skills, or disabilities.
  • "Does the Digital Divide Still Exist? Bush Administration Shrugs, But Evidence Says Yes"
    The Civil Rights Forum on Communications Policy, Consumer Federation of America, and Consumers Union released a study in May 2002 refuting the Bush Administration's conclusion that government intervention is no longer necessary to bridge the Digital Divide.

Click here to read the article and review the reports.

A NATION ONLINE: How Americans Are Expanding Their Use of the Internet

The U.S. Department of Commerce has released a new Digital Divide study which details how few technologies have spread as quickly, or become so widely used, as computers and the Internet. A Nation Online: How Americans Are Expanding Their Use of the Internet shows the rapidly growing use of new information technologies across all demographic groups and geographic regions. Not only are many more Americans using the Internet and computers at home, they are also using them at work, school, and other locations for an expanding variety of purposes. Furthermore, Internet use is increasing for people regardless of income, education, age, race, ethnicity, or gender. With more than half of all Americans using computers and the Internet, we are truly a nation online.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS: Leveraging America's Investment in Information Technology--The E-Rate at Five, Enhancing Policymaking and New Evaluation Models

Despite its “impressive” impact in helping the nation’s schools connect to the internet, the E-Rate remains a work in progress, according to a report from the Benton Foundation and the Educational Development Center’s Center for Children and Technology (CCT). The report, called “Great Expectations: The E-Rate at Five (click for PDF version of report),” recommends several steps to improve the program, including raising the funding cap beyond its current $2.25 billion level and reducing the burden of paperwork on applicants.

90 Million Have Participated in Online Groups

The Internet allows tens of millions of Americans to participate in a thriving social world where they enjoy serious and satisfying contact with online communities. More Americans have used the Internet to contact a group than have gotten news online, or searched for health information, or bought a product. These findings represent some hopeful news that the Internet can be a tool for vigorous social engagement, rather than a technology that spurs isolation and alienation among users. These results come in a survey of Internet users by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, and are contained in a report entitled, "Online Communities: Networks that nurture long-distance relationships and local ties." Click here for the full report.

Home Computers and Internet Use in the United States: August 2000

A U.S. Census Bureau report, issued in September 2001, shows more than half of households have computers. In August 2000, 54 million households, or 51 percent, had one or more computers, up from 42 percent in December 1998. Since 1984, the first year in which the Census Bureau collected data on computer ownership and use, the country has experienced more than a fivefold increase in the proportion of households with computers. Click here to read the report (PDF).

CITIES ONLINE: Urban Growth and the Internet

The Internet is creating unprecedented, economic development opportunities in low-income neighborhoods, according the new report, Cities Online: Urban Growth and the Internet, published by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and The Progress & Freedom Foundation. The report includes in-depth case studies of how well Austin, Cleveland, Nashville, Portland and Washington, D.C. are using the Internet to revitalize their social and economic institutions. The report is in two parts. Part One, Cities, Cyberspace and Social Capital: How Five US Cities Are Adapting to the Internet, is available now (PDF).


The dot-com problems and their impact on the Web: 12% of Internet users have lost a favorite Web site and 17% have been asked to pay for something that used to be free online, according to the results of a survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project released November 14. Some Americans' Internet experiences are beginning to be affected by the dot-com meltdown, but the vast majority of them are making quick adjustments to get the Web content and services they like without paying extra money. Click here to read the full report.


America should begin now to equip students with a new set of "21st-century" skills, according to the latest report released June 25, 2001 by the CEO Forum on Education and Technology, a national partnership between business and education executives. Titled "Key Building Blocks for Student Achievement in the 21st Century," the new report, which concludes a five-year analysis, said technology is most effective when used to support such fundamentals as assessing progress toward educational goals, creating equitable access to learning opportunities for all students, and establishing accountability for student outcomes. Click here to read the entire story, or here to view the report from the CEO Forum on Education and Technology (PDF).

The Internet Supplants the Library as a School Resource for Many Online Teenagers

According to a recent survey by The Pew Internet & American Life Project, use of the Internet has become an increasingly important feature of the learning environment for teenagers both inside and outside the classroom. Asked about their most recent major school report, 71% of teenagers with Internet access (in 7-12) said they relied on Internet sources the most in completing the project. A survey of 754 youth who have used the Internet found that 94% of online youth say they use the Internet for school research and 78% say they believe the Internet helps them with schoolwork. Of course, the ease of gathering information online has a darker side. About a fifth of online teens (18%) say they know of someone who has used the Internet to cheat on a paper or test. For the full report, visit (click on link):

NGA--Two Reports on 'E-Learning'

The National Governors Association (NGA) released two reports in the spring of 2001 on "e-learning" - described as everything from distance learning to CD-ROMs to computerized diagnostic assessment and evaluation to virtual education networks - to equip workers with the skills they need to succeed in the New Economy. The first report, A Vision of E-Learning for America's Workforce, focuses on e-learning for adults in the workplace, and makes recommendations on how the nation's governors and CEOs can capitalize on e-learning's potential to enhance worker skills, productivity and performance.

The second report is the result of a survey of 39 states about their e-learning practices, activities and initiatives. This report, The State of E-Learning in the States, shows that states are keeping abreast of changes by vigorously implementing a wide variety of strategies and programs to expand post-secondary e-learning capabilities for adult-centered, work-related education and training through a variety of "virtual university" and "virtual college" models.

NetDay Survey 2000 "The Internet, Technology and Teachers"

Since NetDay launched efforts to bring the Internet and technology to K-12 schools in March 1996, there has been significant progress in connectivity levels in schools and classrooms. According to the survey results, nearly all teachers say they have access to computers and the Internet in their schools today and almost as many report having access in their classrooms. However, as the study reveals, access is not being translated yet into actual usage for achieving educational goals. Click here to read the executive summary (PDF), or here to go to the site.

NTIA Releases New Study: Falling through the Net

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has released "Falling through the Net: Defining the Digital Divide." Overall, the report finds that the have and have nots of technology persists and in some cases is widening. Secretary Irving is quoted in the Commerce Dept. release as saying, "America's digital divide is fast become a "racial ravine," citing the report's data identifying certain minorities, low-income groups and residents in rural areas and central cities as among those lacking in access to the nation's information resources. For the complete report or a PDF download version, go to

Software & Information Industry Association

SIIA Wireless, Customer and Software Trends from Annual Report, "Building the Net: Trends Shaping the Digital Economy"

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) October 3 released three trends from its annual online report "Building the Net: Trends Shaping the Digital Economy." The Trends Report 2001 provides a concise overview of the rapidly changing software and information industry. The Trends Report 2001 is accessible online at Titles of the three newly released trends are: Assessing a Wireless Future, Cashing in on Global Customers and Driving Innovation Through Software. The executive summary of "Building the Net: Trends Report 2001" is accessible at


Click here to read about the "2000 Report on the Effectiveness of Technology in Schools," a 135-page report highlighting the results of more than 300 recent surveys on education technology from professional journals, doctoral dissertations and other qualified sources. The report clearly demonstrates that education technology has increased student achievement, enhanced student self-concept and attitude about learning, and improved interaction involving educators and students in the learning environment. The report also outlines the challenges involved with technology integration and training in the educational environment.

1999 Vermont Technology Survey Data

Internet Access in US Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994-2000

A federal study found that minority and poor students still lag behind other students when it comes to access at school to the Internet and computers, even though nearly every US public school has Internet access and the ratio of students to instructional computers has reached an all-time low. "Internet Access in US Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994-2000," a survey from the National Center for Education Statistics released in May, shows that 98 percent of public schools were connected to the Internet by last fall. Six years ago, only 35 percent of schools could access the Internet. The study credits the federal government's E-rate program, which provides discounts on Internet and other telecommunications services used by public schools and libraries, for improving Internet access.

Center for Research on Info Tech and Organization

The Presence of Computers in American Schools

Internet Use By Teachers (Becker, Henry Jay)

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)The Condition of Education

The Condition of Education describes the current status and recent progress of education in the United States. This compendium volume features an overview essay and 60 indicators in five major substantive areas of education. Click here to view the 2000, 2001 and 2002 NCES reports.


Office of Educational TechnologyUS Dept. of EducationPublications  

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Last modified:  February 24, 2005