Thursday, September 13, 2012

Teachers, Internet, & Technology Survey findings

Rockbridge County, Lexington, and Buena Vista public school teachers completed the survey in spring 2012.  Their responses show:

Teachers’ Internet use in class and lab

  • 25% use the Internet daily to educate students.  
  • 5% said they never use the Internet in the classroom and another 5% said it was not available to them. 
  • No teachers use YouTube daily, but 16% use it weekly.  And 17% use other video streaming weekly.
  •  5% use Facebook or Twitter in the classroom at least monthly.
  • Teachers rarely use Skype or other video conferencing.  About 3% use it monthly.
  • During a typical class period, 45% of teachers said they spent no time online, and 59% said their students spent no time online.

Internet Blocking  

  • Teachers reported that their schools block Internet content, including educational sites such as Spanish language learning, and music education.  Some said many sites are blocked unless there is a request to unblock them.
  • Of Rockbridge County teachers, 82% said YouTube was blocked, Lexington, 36%, and Buena Vista, 23%.
  • Unblocking content was moderately difficult to impossible for 78% of Rockbridge County, 58% of BV, and 46% of Lexington teachers.  

Teachers’ Internet use in general

  • 25% use email to communicate with students.
  • 6% use Facebook to communicate with students.
  • Nearly every teacher has Internet access at home (96%).
  • Two-thirds have used the Internet 15 years or longer and spend between 1-3 hours online daily.
  • The majority spend half of their online time doing teaching-related activities (planning, grading, instruction).

Teachers’ technology use in class and lab

  • Nearly half use a computer daily in the classroom or lab to educate students.

Teachers’ attitudes toward technology and the Internet

  •  The higher they rated their own skill, the more they believed the Internet and technology improved student learning. Rockbridge County teachers were most likely to agree that using Internet/technology in the classroom improves student learning, followed by Lexington, and Buena Vista. 
  • More than half of Lexington teachers agreed (moderately to strongly) that their students know more about the Internet and technology than they do.  About one fourth of Rockbridge County, and just under a third of Buena Vista teachers agreed. 
  • Speed ratings:  In all three school systems, the majority of teachers rated the Internet speed in their classrooms and labs as average to very slow.
  • Reliability ratings: The majority in Rockbridge County and Lexington said their classroom or lab Internet was average to very unreliable. But in BV, the majority rated the Internet as moderately or very reliable.

    Skills (teacher self-assessment)

    Note that green and brown lines show higher skill ratings.  Light orange means never used.

   Training and support

  • The majority of teachers agreed (moderately to strongly) their technical support staff was helpful--85 percent of Rockbridge County, 70 percent of Buena Vista, and 67 percent of Lexington teachers.
  • The level of technology and Internet training among the teachers was similar among school districts, at 11-20 hours.  But, those with less training used Internet/technology significantly less in the classroom.
Washington and Lee University Associate Professor Claudette Artwick supervised the Teachers, Internet, & Technology Survey.  Students in her Communication Research Methods course designed the survey.  It was administered online in March 2012 to all teachers in Rockbridge County, Lexington, and Buena Vista school districts.  A total of 77 teachers participated, for a 20 percent completion rate.  Special thanks to the school district superintendents for their assistance in distributing the email invitations to participate in the study, and to the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation for funding the gift card incentives for participants.   

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Three winners in the 'Teacher Survey' drawing selected

Seniors in Prof. Artwick's research methods course randomly chose the $50 gift card winners during their last week of class. The three lucky teachers have been notified. Thanks to all for participating!  We hope to post preliminary findings in June.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Key findings from The Internet in Rockbridge survey

Wired in Rockbridge

• 8 out of 10 households in the area are connected to the Internet.
• Residents spend up to 17 hours per day online—2.5 hours on average. The majority spend between 1 and 2.5 hours online daily.
• Nearly three fourths of Internet users spend most of their online time at home. Nearly half use it at work, and 20 percent at the public library or someone else’s house. And 15 percent use mobile Internet everywhere.
• 11 percent of respondents have never used the Internet, while 81 percent have used it for 5 years or more.

Making the connection

• The majority of respondents with a home connection use a desktop computer to access the Internet at home.
• More than a third of Internet households connect via DSL, and about one fourth use a cable modem. One tenth still use dial-up, which is double the national average.
• Nearly half of respondents with a home connection are not satisfied with the number of Internet providers in the area, and nearly a third expressed at least some dissatisfaction with the cost of service.
• But, 7 out of 10 with a home connection are at least somewhat satisfied with its speed and reliability.
• The biggest reasons people in the area don’t have Internet service at home are cost and not owning a computer.

Online activities

• Six in ten online residents shop online. They buy something online between one and 125 times per year, averaging 21 purchases yearly.
• The majority of Internet users search Google at least once per day and a third play games online.
• About four out of ten online residents use email only once per day or less and never use Facebook. Only 7 percent use Twitter. But one fourth do use a cell phone to access the Internet.
• About 8 in 10 Internet users never watch movies on paid websites like Netflix. They watch YouTube videos once per week or less.
• About two-thirds of local citizens get news online. The majority of those who do so turn to news websites as their main online source for news, and one fourth say Google is their main source for online news.
• E-mail is a frequent means of political communication—more so than telephone or in person. 35 percent used email to contact a government official and 19 percent to communicate with a political group in the past two years.
• Two thirds of online residents went to health information websites while only half sought advice from a friend or family member.

Other communication

• Residents frequently keep in touch with friends and family by: telephone (76 percent), e-mail (62 percent), in person (32 percent), and Facebook (24 percent).
• More than half of those who use cell phones frequently or sometimes use them to send text messages and take photos. About a fourth use e-mail and access websites on their phones at least sometimes.
• Residents named hard copy newspapers as their main source for news (one third), followed by TV news (28 percent), online news (14 percent), and a family member or friend (11 percent).


• Participants range in age from 18 to 98. The average age of respondents is 58.
• 44 percent are men, and 56 percent are women.
• 42 percent do not have a college degree.
• The majority’s household income is under $60,000.

We mailed the survey to a random sample of 2,500 households in the Rockbridge area, which yielded 505 completed questionnaires.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Survey now closed

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey! We received nearly 500 completed questionnaires and will be selecting ten Visa gift card winners this afternoon.

Friday, May 13, 2011