Science Benchmarking Report TIMSS 1999–Eighth Grade




CHAPTER 6: Teachers and Instruction

How Are Computers Used?

Students’ reports on the frequency of computer use in science class are presented in Exhibit 6.13. Internationally, very few students reported frequent use of computers in any of the science subjects, although somewhat greater use was found across the countries with general/integrated science. Computer use was most frequent in the United States, where 21 percent of students reported using computers in science class almost always or pretty often, compared with eight percent on average internationally. Use among Benchmarking participants ranged from 12 percent in the Chicago Public Schools to 35 percent in the Jersey City Public Schools.

Because the Internet provides a wealth of opportunities for students to collect and analyze information, TIMSS began asking about students’ access to the Internet and whether they used the World Wide Web to access information for science projects. The data in Exhibit 6.14 indicate great variation in Internet access across countries and across the Benchmarking participants. Still, the international averages show about one-quarter of the students with access to the Internet at school. The international average for using the Internet to access information for science class on even a monthly basis was 12 percent (less than half those reporting access). For the Benchmarking jurisdictions, Internet access at school ranged from 31 to 32 percent in Rochester and Chicago to 98 percent in First in the World and Naperville. Jurisdictions reporting 30 percent or more of the students accessing information for science class on a monthly basis were Connecticut, Massachusetts, the Academy School District, the Delaware Science Coalition, First in the World, Jersey City, Montgomery County, and Naperville. In general, Internet use for science projects was more common among Benchmarking participants than in any of the comparison countries.

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TIMSS 1999 Benchmarking is a project of the International Study Center
Boston College, Lynch School of Education