Students Slowed by School Access, Time

More than three-quarters of high-speed kids are saying they are forced to slow down at school, as a Grunwald Associates report finds that students aged 6 to 17 believe their Internet access in the classroom is often slower than their home connections.

Students Rate Their School Internet Connection
Kids with Dial-Up Kids with Broadband
School is faster 38% 7%
Home is faster 35% 76%
About the same 27% 17%
Source: Grunwald Associates

Peter Grunwald, president, Grunwald Associates, explains that the survey of kids and parents captured the perceptions of school connection speed, as opposed to what may be the technological reality. “We believe that the reality of school Internet use can best be understood with in-depth responses from students — who are after all the ‘consumers,'” said Grunwald.

Contrary to students’ perceptions about speed, The U.S. Department of Education cites research that indicated 94 percent of public schools with Internet access were using broadband connections in 2002, representing a marked increase from 85 percent in 2001, and 80 percent in 2000. Furthermore, 23 percent of public schools with access connected wirelessly, with 88 percent of that group indicating that they were using broadband wireless Internet connections.

In-Stat/MDR revealed that over 90 percent of K-12 schools supported some type of broadband access and 95 percent of higher education institutions have such access.

The Grunwald Associates report also found that both kids and their parents expressed dissatisfaction with the amount of time they are able to be online at school. Of the kids that have Internet access at home, 49 percent say they have too little time online in school, and 34 percent of their parents expressed the same concern. A similar study in 2000 found that 27 percent of 9-17 year olds and 17 percent of their parents thought that they had too little time online.

Since students most frequently access the Internet from computer labs or media centers, their time online may be limited, said Grunwald. “Leaving the classroom means that students will often have less time online and their usage will also be less successfully integrated with their instruction.”

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