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Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994 - 2001


Selected Findings

School Connectivity

Students and Computer Access

Operating Systems, Memory Capacity, and Disk Space

Special Hardware and Software for Students with Disabilities

The Internet as a Way to Communicate with Parents and Students

Technologies and Procedures to Prevent Student Access to Inappropriate Material on the Internet

Related Information

List of Tables

Full Report (PDF)
line Technologies and Procedures to Prevent Student Access to Inappropriate Material on the Internet

Given the diversity of the information carried on the Internet, student access to inappropriate material is a major concern of many parents and teachers. Moreover, under the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), no school may receive E-rate10 discounts unless it certifies that it is enforcing a policy of Internet safety that includes the use of filtering or blocking technology11.

  • In 2001, almost all public schools with Internet access (96 percent) used various technologies or procedures to control student access to inappropriate material on the Internet (table 19 ). Across all types of schools, between 92 and 99 percent reported using these technologies or procedures. In addition, 98 percent of these schools used at least one of these technologies or procedures on all Internet-connected computers used by students (table 19 ).
  • Among schools using technologies or procedures to prevent student access to inappropriate material on the Internet, 91 percent reported that teachers or other staff members monitored student Internet access (table 20 ). Eighty-seven percent used blocking or filtering software, 80 percent had a written contract that parents have to sign, 75 percent had a contract that students have to sign, 46 percent used monitoring software, 44 percent had honor codes, and 26 percent used their intranet12. As these numbers suggest, most of the schools (96 percent) used more than one procedure or technology as part of their Internet use policy (not shown in tables).
10 The Education rate (E-rate) program was established in 1996 to make services, Internet access, and internal connections available to schools and libraries at discounted rates based upon the income level of the students in their community and whether their location is urban or rural.
11 More information about CIPA (Pub. L. No 106-554) can be found at the Web site of the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD), Universal Service Administrative Company ( The law is effective for Funding Year 4 (July 1, 2001, to June 30, 2002) and for all future years. Schools and libraries receiving only telecommunications services are excluded from the requirements of CIPA.
12 An intranet is a controlled computer network similar to the Internet, but accessible only to those who have permission to use it. For example, school administrators can restrict student access to only their school's intranet, which may include information from the Internet chosen by school officials

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