Research Questions 1. What are the reasons for broadband Internet non-use in rural homes with children in Florida? How do these reasons compare to non-rural counties in Florida? 2. What are the possible impacts on rural children in terms of student achievement and technology participation? 3. What are possible implications for school libraries as well as for future research and policymaking?
Literature Foundation Student achievement primarily linked to socioeconomic status (60% reading; 43% science); parental educational attainment; district per pupil expenditure Broadband in U.S. public schools: School networks in the US are old and slow; Schools are filtered by federal law; Classroom connectivity is limited Broadband=differentiation Broadband=compliance Broadband=digital textbooks Public library and other anchor institutions’ connectivity slow and limited (ALA, 2010; FCC 2010) Broadband in U.S. homes Home use in rural areas: KY, OK, PA No perceived need, esp. in Hispanic households Observed benefits (parental and civic involvement) Disaster preparedness Children’s Internet use at home—UK case
Broadband Non-Use Reasons Chart reproduced from U.S. Department of Commerce (2010) (N=56,000).
Internet non-use in urban and rural locales Table reproduced from U.S. Department of Commerce (2010).(N=12,467),
Home use linked to achievement Livingstone & Helsper, 2007
Method Data sets examined: County=district U.S. Census October 2009 Current Population Survey (CPS) (N=54,324) with the CPS October 2009 School Enrollment and Internet Use Supplement (N=12,467) 16 Florida counties total; 5 rural fringe; 3 with children 2009 Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT) data for 8th grade Florida school district connectivity data Analysis: Frequencies in SPSS FL; FL rural; FL rural w/children Limitations: Small sample; new initiatives to improve broadband; Census not incl. highly rural counties
Broadband non-use in Florida organized by locale (16 counties; N=297)
Key Learnings RQ1: Reasons for not adopting home broadband centre on parents’ perceptions of expense and need. Adults require clear definition of economic benefit to change perceptions; RQ2: Rural school districts with stronger broadband connections also have stronger student achievement in reading even when district per pupil expenditure and poverty are considered. However, research suggests that a home-school connectivity continuum is important; RQ3: Further research is needed to more strongly define the relationship between locale, home broadband adoption, and student achievement. Florida’s move to digital textbooks by 2016 provides an opportunity to collect data and draw more specific conclusions that can impact similar initiatives throughout the world.
Why TLs should care… Leadership opportunities! “Last mile” tech support and library services Setting policies that balance access and capacity management; Advocate for greater capacity and stimulate demand; Publicize what can be done to admins, teachers, and PARENTS Keep the issue on the agenda!