Technology and Books

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“My school has enough computers for students to use”

 

 

Even as plans for the district’s first virtual school are underway, 42 percent of students say their schools do not have enough computers for them to use, and one in 10 students never uses a computer at school.

 

 

White and Asian high school students are more likely than blacks and Latinos to agree that computer resources in their schools are sufficient.

 

 

Elementary students using computers

 

 

High school students are more likely to use their schools’ computers once a week than elementary school students. White, Asian and middle-income students who have higher levels of access to computers at home are less likely to use computers frequently at school; African-American students and poor students are equally likely to use computers at school and at home.

 

 

CPS students online and using spreadsheets

 

 

While more than half of students say their schools have enough computers, about 34 percent also say they rarely or never use the Internet to do research, and 45 percent had never used the spreadsheet program Excel.

 

 

Disparities by race, absent in elementary schools, show up in high schools, where African-Americans and Latinos were less likely to do research on the Internet.

 

 

More books

 

 

Chicago Public Schools distributed more than $3 million—in $500 increments—to 6,500 elementary school classrooms to buy books. Classroom libraries have more age-appropriate selections and are more accessible for students than school libraries, says Jean Newcomer of Links to Literacy, a public-private partnership for improvements in reading instruction.

 

 

A recent survey of CPS teachers found that most have classroom libraries (99%), and most of those have an adequate supply of books (82%). “There should never be less than 100 books in the library,” says Carole Parker Patton of the CPS literacy office. The survey found no inequities by race or income.