More internet access needed in classrooms say teachers

Over a third of teachers feel internet access makes 'dramatic impact' on student results

New research from YouGov has shown the positive effect of broadening internet access into the classroom.

Thirty-seven per cent of teachers felt the internet had made a dramatic impact on exam results, nearly nine out of ten teachers felt pupils were more interested in lessons and 80 per cent felt it helped both slow learners.

The main use of the internet in the classroom is for access to online learning and research, but just one per cent using the available bandwidth is being used to collaborate with other schools and businesses.

"The internet has transformed the way pupils are learning in the class room and the benefits are there for all to see in terms of exam results and interest in lessons" said Christopher Small, director of public sector at ntl:Telewest Business, which sponsored the research.

"However, with just one per cent of teachers using the available bandwidth to collaborate with other schools and local businesses, a trick is being missed."

The government has set targets for internet access at schools, where primary schools should have 2Mb bandwidth and secondary schools 8Mb by the end of the year. One in ten teachers felt this goal would be reached.

The chief barrier to internet use is a lack of PCs in the classroom but over a third of teachers said they had insufficient IT training to use the internet properly for teaching. A lack of interactive whiteboards was also highlighted.

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