Today kicks off Chart Week here at Dangerously Irrelevant. Today’s topic is Internet access in public schools and public school classrooms. All data are from the recently-released NCES report, Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994-2005.

Public schools with Internet access

Just over a third of public schools had Internet connectivity in 1994. Within six years that figure had reached 98% and today pretty much every public school is connected to the Web.


Public schools with broadband Internet access

NCES started tracking in 2000 whether schools’ Internet connections were broadband or narrowband. Broadband is defined as T3/DS3, fractional T3, T1/DS1, fractional T1, cable modem, or DSL. Narrowband is defined as ISDN, 56KB, or dial-up. All but 3% of public schools now have broadband connections to the Internet.


Public school classrooms with Internet access

It’s one thing for a school to be connected to the Internet. It’s another for the classrooms within the school to be connected. We have made a lot of progress in this area too. Only 6% of public school classrooms lack an Internet connection.


We have made great strides in terms of getting schools connected. I think sometimes we forget what a massive task it was to get all schools wired.

Schedule for the rest of the week

  • Tuesday – percentage of public school classrooms with wireless Internet connections; percentage of public schools lending laptops to students
  • Wednesday – length of time public schools lend laptops to students
  • Thursday – technologies and procedures used by public schools to prevent student access to inappropriate material on the Internet
  • Friday – professional development for use of the Internet in public school classrooms