U.S.News & World Report just released its first-ever rankings of Most Connected Classrooms.
More than 300 public high schools from U.S. News's most recent Best High Schools rankings returned questionnaires this September on their uses of online technologies. Each provided information about its Internet speed and wireless access; computer availability to students and faculty; additional tools including cloud computing and digital labs, and efforts to electronically engage students, faculty, and parents from their homes.
[Read about the methodology for the Most Connected Classrooms rankings]
Here's a look behind the 185 high schools that scored well enough on their questionnaires to make the Most Connected Classrooms rankings:
The ranked schools are located in 38 states plus the District of Columbia. The most populous states naturally have the most ranked schools, led by Texas (21), California (20), and New York (20). Less populous states with disproportionately large representation in the rankings include Alabama (5), Arkansas (4), and Kansas (4).
According to the most current data from the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. News's 25 highest ranked Most Connected Classrooms include 13 schools listed as rural and six schools in which greater than 50 percent of their students were on free/reduced lunch programs.
This is in contrast to U.S. News's 25 highest ranked Best High Schools—which tend to be in more densely populated districts, are more likely to have selective admissions, and are less likely to have as large proportions of economically disadvantaged students.
[Read more about technology in the classroom.]
Some other key characteristics of the 185 ranked Most Connected Classrooms schools:
Average 2010-2011 high school enrollment: 909
Smallest high school: Follett School (TX) (47 students)
Largest high school: Lake Braddock Secondary School (VA) (3,906 students)
Issue each student a personal computer: 20 schools (including nine of the 10 highest ranked)
Issue each teacher a personal computer: 117 schools (including all 10 highest ranked)
Faster than 155 Mbps download speeds for both students and faculty: 33 schools