Report Roundup

November 12, 2003 4 min read

Two Decades of Ed. Tech. Focus of Federal Report

Read the report, “A Retrospective on Twenty Years of Education Technology Policy,” from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Education Technology Plan. (Requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education analyzes technology use in schools over the past 20 years.

Produced to support the development of a third national K-12 educational technology plan, as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the study examines the use of technology in classrooms since the 1983 report A Nation at Risk called for making computer science a graduation requirement.

The new report discusses key issues related to integrating technology into classrooms, and it identifies steps to ensure that technology is used effectively. It also addresses educators’ visions for how technology can improve teaching and learning, and how those visions have changed since 1983.

—Rhea R. Borja

Sex Education

An abstract of the report, “Entertainment Television as a Healthy Sex Educator: The Impact of Condom-Efficacy Information in an Episode of Friends,” is available from Pediatrics Online.

Television shows can provide effective sex education for teenagers, according to a study released last week by the Santa Monica, Calif.-based RAND Corp.

The study, published in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics, focused on an episode of the popular NBC situation comedy “Friends,” which included conversations about the efficacy of condoms. The authors found that 65 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds who watched the episode recalled the information that was discussed about condom use. What’s more, the study found, teenagers who either watched or discussed the show with an adult were almost twice as likely as those who watched it alone to remember the information accurately.

—Catherine A. Carroll

Student Health Centers

Titled “2002 State Survey of School-Based Health Center Initiatives,” the report is available from the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools.

The number of school-based health centers in the United States rose to nearly 1,500 in the 2001-02 school year, a 9 percent increase over a two-year period, a recent study shows.

Such centers, which provide primary medical care and mental-health services to children and adolescents, are now in 43 states and the District of Columbia, according to the survey. It was conducted by the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, based at George Washington University’s school of public health and health services in Washington.

—Darcia Harris Bowman

Children’s Computer Use

Read “Computer and Internet Use by Children and Adolescents in 2001,” from the National Center for Education Statistics. (Requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)

More children use computers at school than at home, but home is the most common location for youngsters to access the Internet, according to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Among its many findings, the federal study reports that the gender gap in computer use that existed in the 1990s—when boys were more likely than girls to use computers and the Internet—has virtually disappeared.

—Andrew Trotter

State Accountability

“State Education Accountability and Indicator Reports: Status of Reports across the States,” is posted by the Council of Chief State School Officers. (Requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)

The Council of Chief State School Officers has produced a report that summarizes accountability reports published by the states.

The report gives state-by-state information on what reports are published, when they are produced, and what statistics are reported. The report currently reflects data collected by September of this year.

—John Gehring

Wireless Technology

The Consortium for School Networking provides purchasing information on “Emerging Technology Report: A Guide to Wireless LANs in K-12 Schools.”

The security, effectiveness, and logistics of using wireless technologies in classrooms are examined in a report released last week by the Consortium for School Networking, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that advances technology use in schools.

The study profiles eight school districts that use wireless technology, and it details the schools’ challenges in planning and implementing a wireless-network system and the ways such networks enhance student learning.

—Rhea R. Borja

Obesity Responsibility

Survey results are detailed in the paper “Master Instructor Training Program for School Food Service Personnel Related to Childhood Obesity.” More information about the study is available by email at

A survey of 80 food-service workers in Pennsylvania schools shows that most of them see childhood obesity as a national problem, but attribute none of the blame to schools.

But after attending Project PA, a nutrition education program, the respondents showed more awareness of the role school meals can play in addressing childhood obesity. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University conducted the survey.

—Olivia Doherty