RD456 - Report on Status of Technology Usage in Virginia Schools – November 1, 2017

Executive Summary:
Item 137.H of the 2016 Appropriation Act directs the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to provide a holistic review of the statewide use of technology in the classroom, all sources of digital content development, online learning such as virtual courses, and innovative blended learning language and literacy technology options. The review is to be reported to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees by November 1, 2017. As directed in Item 137.H, the review conducted by the VDOE included various types of technology used in the classroom at the time of the survey, such as personal computers, tablets, laptops, or other handheld devices; and how such technology were used with the various types of digital content or online options that support student academic improvement.

In support of this review, VDOE released two separate surveys regarding technology usage in Virginia between November 2016 and February 2017. One survey was provided to technology directors with questions about their school divisions, focusing on technology, infrastructure, and policies/procedures that support student academic achievement. The second was designed for individual schools, with an emphasis on how students use technology to enhance and support their academic achievement. Each school chose staff knowledgeable in the use and application of technology to answer the latter survey, though the role of selected staff varied based on a school’s choice. Selected staff included instructional technology resource teachers (ITRTs), principals, librarians, and teachers, among others. Out of 132 school divisions, 128 responded (97 percent). Out of 1,933 schools, a total of 1,835 schools responded (95 percent).

This report provides an overview of survey results in three main areas: (1) Availability of Technology and Related Resources; (2) Access and Use of Technology and Related Resources; and (3) School Division Policies and Procedures. Detailed responses and response rates to all survey questions are available in the Division-Level Survey provided in Appendix A and in the School-Level Survey in Appendix B.

In addition to the two surveys, other data sources used for this report include VDOE annual report on virtual learning (included within the Board of Education’s “Annual Report on the Condition and Needs of Public Schools in Virginia”) that provides information about the Virtual Virginia and Multidivision Online Provider programs and broadband connectivity capability information collected from school divisions.