A new report assembled by Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN) and Connected Nation provides a comprehensive inventory of technology assets in Utah’s public schools. For the study, 100% of Utah’s public schools participated in the data collection, resulting in a complete data set representing 989 schools and 627,000 students throughout the state. This report on Utah school technology, along with a corresponding engineering study, underscores the continued importance of broadband development for improved education outcomes.
Key findings of the Utah School Technology Inventory reveal Wi-Fi infrastructure is insufficient, with 79% of schools having less than one wireless access point per classroom. The report also states that for each Utah student, there are approximately 0.61 technology devices available. In addition, findings indicate that teachers want to be more adequately prepared to use mobile devices in the classroom, with 47% of respondents feeling like there was a need for better professional development and training resources.
Utah’s public charter schools also participated in the data collection, highlighting a few disparities between school districts and charter schools. Approximately 20% of charter schools reported they did not have any current needs for software or instructional tools, compared to less than 1% of school districts who felt their needs were met. Additionally, 22% of charter schools have wireless or wired technology that is less than a year old, while only 8% of school districts have wireless equipment less than a year old.
The report is the result of Senate Bill 222, which was passed during the 2015 legislative session. SB 222 requested the first Utah School Technology Inventory, along with the creation of a digital teaching and learning task force, the creation of a master plan for improving digital teaching and learning, as well as an engineering study to evaluate infrastructure needed for Utah schools’ increasing technology needs.
Connected Nation is a technology organization that advocates for affordable high-speed Internet. The group operates programs in multiple states and was a critical partner for this research. In addition to assisting with the complex outreach effort required for getting 100% of schools to participate, Connected Nation also helped developed an online data collection portal that can serve as a sustainable system for future data collection.
The full Utah School Technology Inventory can be found at:
The UETN Engineering Study can be found at:
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