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Indicator 18: Information and Communication Technology Scores by Computer Use and Internet Access at Home

In 2014, the average 8th-grade score in the information and communication technology content area was higher for students who used a computer at home (152) than for those who did not use a computer at home (128). Similarly, the average ICT score was higher for 8th-grade students who had access to the Internet at home (152) than for those who did not have access to the Internet at home (124).

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) assessment measures whether students are able to apply technology and engineering skills to real-life situations. In the framework, technology is defined as "any modification of the natural world done to fulfill human needs or desires," and engineering is defined as "a systematic and often iterative approach to designing objects, processes, and systems to meet human needs and wants."

The TEL assessment is designed to measure three interconnected areas of technology and engineering literacy: technology and society, design and systems, and information and communication technology. Information and communication technology (ICT)1 includes computers and software learning tools, networking systems and protocols, hand-held digital devices, and other technologies for accessing, creating, and communicating information and for facilitating creative expression. Information and communication technologies are integrated into every sphere of contemporary life, and has profound implications for how people learn in school, solve practical problems, and function in the workplace. This indicator focuses on the content area of ICT to describe the associations between student achievement in ICT and computer use and internet access at home.

The TEL assessment was administered on a computer in 2014 for grade 8 in both public and private schools across the nation. In addition to the assessment, TEL also includes a student questionnaire to provide a context for student performance. The TEL student questionnaire includes questions on demographics, as well as TEL-specific questions about students' experiences with technology. In 2014, more than 90 percent of 8th-graders reported they used a computer at home (91 percent) and they had access to the Internet at home (94 percent).

In 2014, average TEL ICT scale scores varied by whether students reported that they used a computer at home and whether they had access to the Internet at home. Differences were observed across various student and school characteristics, including sex, racial/ethnic group, ELL status, school poverty status,2 and school locale. The TEL ICT scores range from 0 to 300.


Figure 18.1. Average scale score of 8th-graders on the information and communication technology (ICT) content area of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) Assessment, by selected student and school characteristics and computer use at home: 2014

Figure 18.1. Average scale score of 8th-graders on the information and communication technology (ICT) content area of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) Assessment, by selected student and school characteristics and computer use at home: 2014

‡ Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.
NOTE: Scale ranges from 0 to 300. Information and communication technology (ICT) is one of three content areas on the TEL assessment. ICT includes computers and software learning tools, networking systems and protocols, hand-held digital devices, and other technologies for accessing, creating, and communicating information and for facilitating creative expression. Includes students tested with accommodations (10 percent of all 8th-graders); excludes only those students with disabilities and English language learners who were unable to be tested even with accommodations (1 percent of all 8th-graders). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2014 Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) Assessment, NAEP Data Explorer. See Digest of Education Statistics 2016, table 224.73.


The average ICT scale score was higher for students who used a computer at home (152) than for those who did not use a computer at home (128). This pattern was consistently observed across various student and school characteristics, including sex, racial/ethnic group, English language learner (ELL) status, school poverty status, and school locale. For example, the average 8th-grade ICT scale scores for students who used a computer at home and those who did not were 154 vs. 131 for non-ELL students, and 109 vs. 99 for ELL students. Similarly, the average 8th-grade ICT scale scores for students who used a computer at home and those who did not were 168 vs. 141 for students in low-poverty schools, and 135 vs. 123 for students in high-poverty schools.

Although students who used a computer at home consistently scored higher on the 2014 TEL ICT scale than those who did not use a computer at home, the differences in TEL ICT scale scores between those who reported using a computer at home and those who did not varied by racial/ethnic group, ELL status, school poverty status, and school locale. For example, the ICT score difference between those who used a computer at home and those who did not was 23 points for White students, compared to 17 points for Hispanic students and 15 points for Black students. The score difference was 23 points for non-ELL students, compared to 10 points for ELL students. The score difference was 27 points for students in low-poverty schools, compared to 12 points for those in high-poverty schools; and the difference was 28 points each for students in suburban and town schools, compared to 19 points for those in rural schools.


Figure 18.2. Average scale score of 8th-graders on the information and communication technology (ICT) content area of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) Assessment, by selected student and school characteristics and internet access at home: 2014

Figure 18.2. Average scale score of 8th-graders on the information and communication technology (ICT) content area of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) Assessment, by selected student and school characteristics and internet access at home: 2014

‡ Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.
NOTE: "Access to the Internet" was one item on a list preceded by the question "Do you have the following in your home?" For each item, students could either select "Yes" or leave the item blank. Students who left "Access to the Internet" blank are counted as having no internet access at home. Scale ranges from 0 to 300. ICT includes computers and software learning tools, networking systems and protocols, hand-held digital devices, and other technologies for accessing, creating, and communicating information and for facilitating creative expression. Includes students tested with accommodations (10 percent of all 8th-graders); excludes only those students with disabilities and English language learners who were unable to be tested even with accommodations (1 percent of all 8th-graders). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2014 Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) Assessment, NAEP Data Explorer. See Digest of Education Statistics 2016, table 224.73.


Similarly, the average 2014 ICT score was higher for students who had access to the Internet at home (152) than for those who did not have access to the Internet at home (124). This pattern was consistently observed across various student and school characteristics, including sex, racial/ethnic group, ELL status, school poverty status, and school locale. For example, the average 8th-grade ICT scale scores for students who had access to the Internet at home and those who did not were 160 vs. 136 for White students, 132 vs. 110 for Black students, and 140 vs. 120 for Hispanic students. Similarly, the average 8th-grade ICT scale scores for students who had access to the Internet at home and for those who did not were 147 vs. 120 for students in city schools, 156 vs. 122 for students in suburban schools, 150 vs. 124 for students in town schools, and 152 vs. 130 for students in rural schools.

Across student and school characteristics, ICT scale scores for those who had internet access at home did not measurably differ from scores for those who did not, in general. The characteristics of ELL status and school locale were exceptions, however. There was a score difference of 25 points for non-ELL students, compared to a difference of 16 points for ELL students. As for school locale, the score difference was 34 points for students in suburban schools, compared to 26 points for those in city schools and 22 points for those in rural schools.


1 For details on the Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) assessment or the information and communication technology (ICT) content area, please refer to https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/tel/.
2 In this indicator, low-poverty schools are those with 025 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, and high-poverty schools are those with 76100 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. For more discussions on using free or reduced-price lunch data as a proxy for poverty, see the NCES blog "Free or reduced-price lunch: A proxy for poverty?".



Reference Tables

  • Table 18.1. (Digest table 224.73) Average scale score of 8th-graders on the information and communication technology (ICT) content area of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) technology and engineering literacy (TEL) assessment and percentage distribution of 8th-graders, by computer use and internet access at home and other selected characteristics: 2014