The New Jersey Department of Education today released its 2001 Public School Technology Survey announcing a 4.5-1 student to multimedia computer ratio surpassing the states goal of a 5:1 ratio in 2002.
"In 1997 New Jersey made a commitment that it would be second to none in educational technology," said Commissioner of Education Vito A. Gagliardi, Sr. "It was then that we began our five year $250 million Distance Learning Network Aid (DLNA) program to ensure that our children had access to the latest computers, access to the Internet and that our teachers were appropriately trained in the use of technology.
"I am proud to say that this has become one of the most successful programs the department has ever developed."
"New Jersey has always been a national leader in school technology," said acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco. "As a leader in the 1997 creation of the states Distance Learning Network it is very gratifying to set such an important goal and then exceed it a year ahead of schedule."
The survey also indicates that the number of classrooms with Internet access has risen sharply in the last two years, going from 46 percent in 1999 to 84 percent in 2001. Nearly 100 percent of all schools in the state are connected to the Internet. The percent of schools with distance learning capabilities has also skyrocketed going from 42 percent in 1999 to 76.8 percent in 2001. Distance learning permits students in a classroom in one part of the state to view a lesson from a classroom in another part of the state via telecommunications technology.
In addition, the percentage of schools with web sites has risen from 56 percent in 1999 to 89.8 percent in 2001. The survey also indicates that 99.6 percent of all districts have technology coordinators and 76.9 percent of all teachers have technology skills at the intermediate, advanced or instructor level.
"It is exciting to see how the infusion of technology in our classrooms is providing a richer, more diverse education for our children," said Dr. Gagliardi. "In the years to come the integration of technology into the teaching and learning in our classrooms will only increase as we strive to prepare our children for their futures."
This is the third year that the Department of Education has conducted the technology survey of all 2,473 public schools in New Jersey, with 87 percent responding this year. [A summary of the survey is attached, and more in-depth detail is available at the departments website, at www.state.nj.us/njded/techno/survey.]