The Internet Is Becoming a Staple in U.S. Education, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, MA – SEPTEMBER 7, 2000 – U.S. school children of all ages are riding the information superhighway in their pursuit of education. According to a recent IDC survey, more than three-fourths of U.S. PC households with students are accessing the Internet, and almost 70% of online households with students are using it to complete school work.

"The Internet is clearly reshaping the education of K-12 students," said Raymond Boggs, vice president at the Framingham, Mass. research firm. "Students are going online to get assignments, get the information they need to complete assignments, and, of course, check the lunch menus."

IDC found that households with students are more likely to have PCs than households in general. At the beginning of the year, 52% of households had PCs, compared to 65.4% of households with students. While roughly three-fourths of all PC households, with and without students, have Internet access, students are helping families to justify the investment in both PCs and access to the Web.

Use of the Internet to Complete Schoolwork in Different U.S. Online Households

Total Internet Households 55.4%

Internet Households with Students 67.9%

Internet Households with Elementary Students 52.7%

Internet Households with Middle/High School Students 84.0%

Source: IDC, 2000

Internet use varies widely by student age. While fewer than 53% of elementary school children with home access to the Internet complete schoolwork with online resources, the percentage increases to 84% of middle and high schools students. The nature of school assignments and the greater freedom accorded to older children to explore the Internet on their own help account for the difference.

The most common online school-related activity in households with children in elementary school is to communicate with teachers and administrators. Parents would play a key role in this. In households with middle or high school aged children, the most common use is to get class assignments. The student rather than the parent would be most likely to be gathering this information.

"The Internet is also poised to become a key force in community building between school and the home," Boggs said. "A variety of activities are already being performed online, and Internet use will continue to grow dramatically as teachers and administrators expand their use of the technology for a variety of purposes."

Information like the above can be found in IDC's new report, Students and the Internet (IDC #B22962). The report examines use of PCs and the Internet in U.S. households with K-12 students. Internet access in these households is also analyzed as is purchasing via the Web and the use of other technologies. The report also presents results from IDC's Project Atlas II survey, which examined Web usage and spending habits of Internet users around the world. The report uses these results to compare U.S. students' and educators' Internet use with students and educators around the world. To purchase a copy, please contact Patrick Steeves at (508) 988-6787 or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 600 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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