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This report finds that about half of sixth- through twelfth-graders in Chicago Public Schools report using technology for school less than once a week. Between 20 and 30 percent of students report never or rarely using technology for school—at most once or twice a semester. At the same time, the vast majority (92 percent) report having access to the internet at home, signaling a clear divide between how students interact with technology in and out of school.
"Given that low-income students are the least likely to be exposed to technology at home, we were surprised and encouraged by the large percentage of Chicago students who reported having access to the internet," said Stacy Ehrlich, lead author of the report. "However, we were disappointed to learn that widespread access outside of school did not translate into widespread use for academic purposes."
The report, The Use of Technology in Chicago Public Schools 2011: Perspectives from Students, Teachers, and Principals, is based on 2011 and 2012 survey data from CPS teachers, principals and students. It updates previous CCSR research on technology use in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) by focusing on the most basic skills and experiences students need in order to become technologically literate—e.g., the extent to which students use technology for school and whether factors such as school culture and teacher and principal expectations contribute to student use.