Computer Distribution Study for Families
Since 2004, over 17,000 computers were donated to Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). Schools used the computers to (a) place computers in the classrooms for use by students, (b) build computer labs for remediation or advanced courses, and (c) loan computers to the families of students on free or assisted lunch programs without a computer at home.
IPS is Indiana’s largest school district and the demographics of students reflect the community and are not materially dissimilar when compared to many other urban communities. Details about the school district were obtained from the IPS website. Selected information follows:
- 83% on free or assisted lunch programs
- 70% school transfer rate
- 72% single parent families (mother-63%, father-9%, grandparent-3%)
- 22% of students are enrolled in special education programs
- 14% of students have limited English proficiency
Note: Approximately 4,000 6-12 grade students (approximately 21%) are in alternative schools for discipline problems.
During computer distribution at the schools, parents were given the option of completing a survey to provide information about the respondents receiving computers. Four studies were conducted between 2008 and 2012 involving three schools and 531 parents/guardians. 488 parents/guardians agreed to be respondents. Parents and school officials agreed that information would be provided only in an aggregated form.
Note: some of the parents were ENL or illiterate and their children read the survey to them. Also, this was a pre-selected sample of parents that responded to a notice to come to school for a free computer for their children. This report is not statistically significant and cannot be applied to a broader universe – its purpose was to gather data to validate or refute Net Literacy’s hypothesis regarding market targets of the Computer Connects program. When a question was not answered (left blank), it was excluded from the totals.
1. Do you have a computer at home? Yes: 2% No: 98%
2. Have you ever had a computer at home? Yes: 6% No: 94%
3. If yes, what happened to the computer? Most common answers – stopped working and can’t afford to replace
4. Grade of son or daughter:
- 7th grade: 7%
- 8th grade: 11%
- 9th grade: 29%
- 10th grade: 37%
- 11th grade: 31%
- 12th grade: 17%
Note: exceeds 100% because some parents have more than one son or daughter in the community school.
5. How many school-aged sons or daughters in your household? Average: 2.3 (include elementary school aged children)
6. Do you think it “likely” that other adults living in your household will use the computer? Yes: 98% No: 2%
7. Do you think it “likely” that other school aged children living in your household will use the computer? Yes: 97% No: 3%
8. Have you ever used a computer at work? Yes: 88% No: 12%
9. Do you believe that by not having a computer at home, it has made it more difficult for your child/children to succeed in school? Yes: 97% No: 3%
10. If yes, why? Most common answers (in order of frequency): homework, research, unable to complete homework, reports, can’t go to library, information
11. Have you ever considered buying a computer for your home? Yes: 100% No: 0%
12. What was the main reason preventing you from doing so? Most frequent answers: financial related reasons or they had one and it broke and they could not afford to replace it.
13. Do you plan to connect your computer to the Internet? Yes: 92% No: 8%
14. If no, why not? Most frequent answers: financial-related reasons (e.g., “between jobs”)
15. What is your level of education:
- Not a high school graduate: 47%
- High school graduate: 32%
- Some college: 12%
- College degree: 3%
16. Does your child receive mostly A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, or F’s: Average in GPA: 2.3
17. Sometimes, do you worry that your child will not graduate from high school? Yes: 11% No: 89%
18. Do you feel that having a computer at home may improve your child’s performance at school? Yes: 98% No: 2%
19. Have you ever used IPS Online? Yes: 8% No: 92%
20. How does the computer distribution make you feel about your school? Most frequent answers: they care, they are community-oriented, positive, helping students succeed, excellent school