The availability of technology to high school students in Los Gatos and Saratoga varies wildly, according to figures released earlier this month.
Two of three area high schools provide their students with hundreds of computers to access, while a third falls woefully behind.
Saratoga High School has the best student-to-computer ratio in the area, averaging 3.2 students per computer. Los Gatos reported a pupil-to-computer ratio of 5.2. The state average at high schools is a ratio of 4.7 students per computer, according to the statistics published on the Ed-Data website.
Both schools outpace Prospect High, part of the Campbell Union High School District. Prospect and other high schools in that district have just 10 computer available for hundreds of students, according to the Ed-Data website.
This is the Information Age, and integrating technology into the classroom is seen as a priority for schools. Some schools now encourage middle and high school students to use personal cell phones, tablets and e-readers during school hours for classwork, according to an MSN Money report. The same article stated nearly three-quarters of teachers surveyed for the Pew Research Center Internet & American Life study said they or their students use cell phones during class or for homework.
Check out the differences among local high schools below, or compare other schools by visiting the Ed-Data website and searching for schools using the yellow box in the upper right corner of the page.School Access to Technology Comparisons, 2011-12 School Enrollment Computers per School Students per Computer Classrooms with Internet Los Gatos High 1821
99 Prospect High 1297 10 129.7 71
Saratoga High 1419 445 3.2 74 Statewide Average n/a 290.8 4.7 n/a
It's important to note he statistics are not a measure of how technology is integrated into the classroom, nor does the data reveal how up-to-date the computers found in local classrooms are.
Here are definitions of the categories in the table above:
- Number of computers: The total number of computers owned or leased by the school that are used at least part of the time for instruction or activities directly related to instruction. Examples are direct instruction, curriculum development, classroom management, preparation of instructional materials, and similar activities.
- Number of students per computer: The enrollment divided by the number of computers, as defined above. Some very small schools or alternative schools may have nearly as many computers as students.
- Number of classrooms on the Internet: The number of classrooms or other instructional settings (such as computer lab, library, or career center) at the school that have access to the Internet through at least one computer. Each classroom or instructional setting is counted only once, even if it has more than one computer with Internet access.
The statistics are published by the the Ed-Data website, a partnership between the California Department of Education (CDE), EdSource, and the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team to provide data about K-12 education.
How would you rate the availability of technology at high schools in Los Gatos and Saratoga? What do you think of the disparity between schools?