There’s a new “digital Divide” in schools today, according to the latest study of computers in our schools.There are plenty of computers in schools today. But the new study takes a closer look at how much those computers are contributing to kids’ education. Project Coordinator Kevin Bushweller says the “Technology Counts” report finds only the computers linked to the Internet are valuable teaching tools, and not all schools have that link. He says in the U-S, schools have just about five kids per computer. In Iowa, it’s three-point-eight, putting us about 10th in the nation. Bushweller says just having a computer in the building, though, isn’t enough to make it a teaching tool.Bushweller says an Internet connection is the vital difference, and there’s a gap between schools in poor and rich towns. In Iowa, schools in low-income communities have over 15 students sharing each Internet-connected computer, but in wealthy communities, there’s an online computer for just about every five kids. Bushweller says there’s also a gap in the quality of the links school computers can make to the Internet, putting many rural schools at a disadvantage,Bushwell says Internet connections in rural areas are too slow. The study is titled “Technology Counts 2001 — The New Divides” and it finds most girls aren’t considering computers as a career.
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