Perceptions on the Ground: Principals’ Perception of Government Interventions in High-Speed Educational Networking
Christiansen, Jo-An S.
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The Alberta SuperNet was built to bring broadband connectivity to every school, hospital, library and provincial government office in Alberta (a large province in Canada with an area of 255,285 square miles). The supposed benefits of high-speed access have led to calls for strategic public investment on both the supply and demand sides. The provincial government, through Alberta Education, initiated a number of interventions to help make broadband technology more useful and accessible to Alberta schools and to promote use of the new technology. To investigate the perceived efficacy and awareness of these initiatives, a survey of school officials was conducted in the spring of 2005. The survey was designed to assess the interest, awareness and planned use of high-speed networking initiatives by school officials. The results of the survey show that principals place relatively high levels of importance upon these initiatives but their level of awareness of, and especially their utilization of the initiatives was much lower. There were small but significant differences among principals from large versus small schools and between principals from rural versus urban school. The paper concludes with recommendations for policy makers and administrators challenged with creating effective interventions using broadband networking.