Canadian Students Wired at School

The majority of Canadian schools are connected to the Internet for educational purposes, according to a survey done in January and February of 1999. More than 90 percent of the students in elementary, intermediate, and secondary schools levels in Canada attended schools with Internet access the study found.

The survey, which was conducted by Statistics Canada as part of the Second International Technology in Education Study, was taken from a random sample covering 4,000 schools, and collected responses from both principals and individuals responsible for technology in the school.

According to the survey, there remain a number of obstacles to increased technology use in the classroom, including a lack of computers and lack of training for faculty members. Canadian schools have still made major strides in bring their students online. On average, during the last school year, there were seven students per computer in secondary schools. Approximately 40 percent of students had used email by the end of the school year. Additionally, 73 percent of students attended an intermediate or high school that its own Web site.

Internet Uses by Canadian Schools
Use Percent
E-mail 40
External databases 81
Web sites
Disseminating info. 35
Video conferencing 7
Source: Statistics Canada

At the time of the survey, only 12 percent of elementary school students attended a school without Internet access for instructional purposes, while less than 3 percent of students attended intermediate and secondary schools without Internet access.

In the provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick all the schools were connected to the Internet at the time of the survey.

About one-third of elementary and intermediate students, and half of all secondary students, had used email. In addition, 76 percent of elementary students, 80 percent of intermediate and 87 percent of secondary students had made use of external databases to find and extract information. Overall, just over one-third of all students had disseminated information via the Internet and about 30 percent had designed or maintained a Web site.

Internet use varied from among provinces in Canada. For example, 65 percent of students in Prince Edward Island had used email during the last schhol year compared to 31 percent in New Brunswick. Students in Prince Edward Island were also in the forefront in developing Web sites. About 46 percent had been involved in maintaining a Web site during the school year compared with 16 percent in Saskatchewan.

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