The United States is among the leaders in the world in providing access to school computers, but it lags behind some other nations in frequency of school computer use and Internet availability at school, an Education Week report set for release this week concludes.
Subscribers to Education Week will receive Technology Counts 2004, dated May 6, in the mail. The report also is scheduled to be online as of that date at www.edweek.org.
Although the U.S. student-to-computer ratio of 5-to-1 is tied for first in the world, some technology-oriented countries—such as Australia, Finland, and Iceland—have more than twice the percentage of school computers connected to the Internet that the United States does. In this country, 39 percent of school computers are linked to the Internet, according to the Technology Counts 2004 report, titled Global Links: Lessons From the World.
“These numbers show that our schools need to move beyond the goal of simply putting computers in classrooms,” said Virginia B. Edwards, the editor and publisher of Education Week. “And the world outside the United States is rich with lessons about how technology can be used in schools.”
The report is the seventh edition of the newspaper’s annual examination of educational technology, which is published with financial support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
This year’s report presents an overview of technology in schools around the world, examining data, lessons, and trends in North America, Asia, Europe, South America, Africa, and the Australia/Pacific region.
As part of the project, three Education Week writers visited schools in Singapore, Iceland, and Canada—countries where technology is an important feature of the educational landscape—to get classroom-level views of what’s happening.
That perspective on the use of technology in education reflects Education Week’s increasing emphasis on international coverage, according to Ms. Edwards.
Over the past three years, the newspaper has sent writers to at least 10 countries around the world to see how issues of common concern are unfolding in different places and what lessons might be imported to the United States. Along the way, Ms. Edwards said, the paper has found a burgeoning K-12 international community made up of educators who live in different countries and speak different languages, but share ideas and lessons.
Technology Counts 2004 also includes the annual features of the report, such as a review of U.S. trends in the use of educational technology and snapshots of the steps that the 50 states and the District of Columbia have taken to use educational technology more effectively.