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NetDay Press Releases

February 28, 2003

Students In Netday Community Projects Speak Out On Internet Use

NetDay issues a "call for participation" to capture additional information on student attitudes and behavior relating to Internet use

Washington, D.C. -- NetDay CEO, Julie Evans, released the results of a study conducted at schools in the NetDay Community Projects indicating that students view the Internet as a valuable and essential part of their schoolwork. The findings were released during a panel presentation on Internet Savvy Students and Their Schools at the 8th Annual K-12 conference of the Consortium for School Networking ( Also issued was a "call for participation" to the conference attendees and schools nationwide to gather additional information about how students across the nation are using the Internet as part of their educational experiences.

Inspired by a recent study by the American Institutes for Research, NetDay convened seven focus groups of high school students at schools in Oakland CA, Detroit MI, Mercedes (Rio Grande Valley) TX, Santa Ana CA and in the Mississippi Delta to get a "snapshot" of student attitudes and behavior on Internet use in these under served communities. NetDay AmeriCorps members helped to facilitate these focus groups as part of their year of service to these communities. "It is striking how much the students had to say and how articulate they are when expressing their views on the use of technology and its impact on their education. For all the students involved in these focus groups -- from the rural communities of the Mississippi Delta and the Rio Grande Valley to the inner city communities of Oakland and Detroit -- there was universal agreement that the Internet is helping them with their school work," Julie Evans noted.

Specific findings from the focus groups include:

  • 100% of the students in our focus groups agree that the Internet helps them with their schoolwork but most of that Internet access is away from school;
  • 90% of the students in our focus groups were not familiar with the term Digital Divide";
  • 87% of the students ranked themselves as intermediate to expert level users of the Internet, but 1/3 ranked their teachers as beginners; and
  • 100% of the students have used the Internet to seek information on colleges, careers and jobs.

" The voice of these students is instructive for all of us working to bring technology to the classroom and powerful reminders of how our efforts are resulting in positive change," added Julie Evans. "For example, a student in the Mississippi Delta said that 'We depend upon the Internet to give us the most current information for our schoolwork -- without it we could not do most of our assignments.' 'A student in Oakland called for more after school access to the computer labs because 'technology is our anti-drug.'"

NetDay plans to expand its survey beyond its Community Projects and issued a call for national participation. NetDay will share with interested educators its "how to" guide for facilitating a high school focus group, collect the date and aggregate it for national distribution. To get the materials and the online data collection tool link, send an e-mail to

About Netday
NetDay's mission is to connect every child to a brighter future by helping educators meet educational goals through the effective use of technology. NetDay (, a national non-profit organization known for its successful school wiring programs, today manages community and web-based programs that promote enhanced student achievement through the effective use of technology.

About Netday Community Initiatives
NetDay Community Initiatives are a comprehensive set of community-based, direct service programs impacting over 25,000 students in 25 schools in 5 underserved communities through two key programs.

NetDayAmeriCorps Bridge program recruits AmeriCorps volunteers to dedicate a year of service to bridge the digital divide by helping with technology integration projects within schools and building local capacity for school community engagement around technology. In its second full year of implementation the program is operating this school year in Oakland, CA, Detroit, MI, Rio Grande Valley TX and Santa Ana CA.

NetDay Technology Enhances Student Success (TESS) program is a comprehensive initiative to help schools learn how to use technology to increase student achievement through teacher training, principal leadership development, community support and coaching and mentoring. This program is working in partnership with a selected school district in Mississippi, the West Bolivar School District.