Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Larry Janes


The purpose of this study was to investigate the practice of school districts connecting to the internet within the Southern Illinois Instructional Technology Association. The research questions for this study were: (a) Should an internet connection be initiated, continued, improved, or terminated? (b) To what extent is connecting to the internet cost effective for schools? (c) To what extent do increased program expenditures increase the use of the internet connection by staff and students? (d) To what extent does the program achieve its intended objectives?

The review of literature indicated that school districts can effectively use an internet connection as a resource for students, staff and administration. Those school districts initiating a successful connection have also budgeted funds to train staff members in the use of the internet.

A survey instrument was developed by the researcher to seek information related to the research questions. The participants were the 76 superintendents of the Southern Illinois Instructional Technology Association. The geographic area of the sample was from Effingham, Illinois, to the southern tip of Illinois. The survey was mailed to the 76 superintendents of the target population in November of 1996.

The study found that 68% of the respondents were connected to the internet. Those districts connected to the internet also reported an average assessed valuation two times as high as those districts not connected. The study found that it can be cost effective for school districts to connect to the internet.

The study also found that the amount of money spent on the internet connection and training affects the use of the connection. The findings of the study will be used to compare the status of the internet connection in the Effingham Unit 40 Schools to the ideal. The results of this study will help school districts officials to ascertain whether or not an internet connection should be a part of their educational program. The researcher concluded that the funds expended on the internet connection and training in its use affect the number of students and staff using the connection.