American Instructional Resources Surveys
Sep 24, 2020
Researchers investigate the relationship between teachers' reports of students' internet access and their interaction with students and families during school closures related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These data are drawn from the American Instructional Resources Survey, which was fielded in May and June 2020 and included questions to teachers regarding their instruction during school closures because of the pandemic.
Teachers' Perceptions of Inequities in Students' Internet Access and Participation in Remote Learning
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RAND researchers investigate the relationship between teachers' reports of their students' internet access and their interaction with students and families during school closures related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These data are drawn from the American Instructional Resources Survey, which was fielded in May and June 2020 and included questions to teachers regarding their instruction during school closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When teachers deliver remote instruction, their capacity to communicate with students and their families is shaped by home internet access. Researchers found that half of teachers estimated that all or nearly all of their students had access to the internet at home, and teachers in schools located in towns and rural areas, schools serving higher percentages of students of color, and high-poverty schools were significantly less likely to report that all or nearly all of their students had access to the internet at home. Researchers also found that gaps in internet access among students in higher-poverty versus lower-poverty schools—as reported by their teachers—varied greatly by state. These data suggest that existing inequities for students in rural and high-poverty schools might be exacerbated by students' limited access to the internet and communication with teachers as remote instruction continues.
The research described in this report was conducted by RAND Education and Labor and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and the Overdeck Family Foundation.
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