technology deployment lags in classroom, but has the potential to profoundly alter education system Business & Photo Editors/Technology & Education Writers

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 20, 1995--The American Electronics Association (AEA) today released the results of a major survey of the education community investigating what role technology and the `information superhighway` should play in the classroom.

The survey, `Building the National Information Infrastructure (NII) in K-12 Education: A Comprehensive Survey of Attitudes Toward Linking Both Sides of the Desk,` asks teachers, administrators, librarians, school board members and other educators what effects the information superhighway will have on teaching and student learning.

The key findings on the availability of current information technology:

-- A higher level of technology deployment was found in K-12 than is commonly believed, though much of that deployment is in K-12 administrative support services

-- For example, 85 percent of the K-12 librarians have multimedia capabilities (e.g. audio, video, graphics, text and CD-ROM), 49 percent use networked computers, and 48 percent have an Internet connection

-- However, the survey also illustrates that technology deployment lags where it is needed the most -- in the classroom

-- For example, only 59 percent of the respondents who are teachers (represented by the NEA) indicated that multimedia capabilities were available, 29 percent have networked computers, and 20 percent have an Internet connection

-- Only 17% of the teachers indicated that on-line services were available to them

The key findings on the application of state-of-the-art technological capabilities in the schools:

-- More than 75 percent of survey respondents believe that the information superhighway will alleviate such problems as a lack of student motivation and obsolete curriculum

-- About 80 percent believe that distance learning will be more available to students and the access of information by educators will increase

-- More than 75 percent of the respondents noted that NII will cause a revision of curriculum content to emphasize greater computer skills for students

-- Budget constraints, the lack of equipment and lack of training were seen as the major roadblocks to applying information technologies

`The survey demonstrates that information technology can help to solve some of the greatest challenges facing K-12 educators,` said Eric Benhamou, president and CEO of 3Com Corp. and chairman of AEA's National Information Infrastructure (NII) Task Force. `Through the NII, teachers, students, workers and institutions will have access to a vast amount of information, giving them new tools to build their knowledge-base and skills.`

AEA President and CEO, William T. Archey, commented, `For the U.S. to compete in the global economy in the 21st century, we need a workforce that is second-to-none. Integrating the new information technologies into K-12 teaching and learning is necessary to create such a top-notch workforce.`

For the past two years, AEA's NII Task Force has examined attitudes in the business community towards using and developing the `information superhighway.` The K-12 education survey is the second in a series of surveys exploring user attitudes that the Task Force intends to conduct in the years ahead. Benhamou said, `The goal of the Task Force is to represent a real-world perspective on the NII debate. The K-12 education community is a key user of the NII, and the needs and requirements of this community must be heard.`

The survey was conducted by the Center for Telecommunications Management at the University of Southern California. Eight key national education associations partnered with AEA on the survey, including the American Association of School Librarians, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Council of Great City Schools, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Education Association, the National Rural Education Association and the National School Board Association. The survey went out to segments of the membership of all these organizations.

The American Electronics Association (AEA) is the largest high technology trade association in the country, representing over 3,000 U.S.-based technology firms. Membership spans from semiconductor and software companies, to computer systems and telecommunications companies. For more than 50 years, AEA has been the accepted voice of the U.S. electronics and information technology industry.

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CONTACT: American Electronics Association

Jon Englund or Brian Raymond, 202/682-9110



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AP-NY-03-20-95 1203EST

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