SITES-M1. Second Information Technology in Education Study Module 1

The aim of Module 1 of the IEA Second Information Technology in Education Study (SITES-M1) was to help countries estimate their current position relative to other countries in the educational use of information and communication technology (ICT).

The study aimed to assess:

  • the extent to which school management offered a supportive climate for ICT use in schools;
  • the ICT infrastructure (equipment, software, access to the Internet, etc.) available in schools;
  • the staff development and support services available with regard to ICT;
  • the extent to which schools adopted objectives and practices that reflected a focus on autonomous learning strategies.

SITES-M1 examined, among other aspects, the student-to-computer ratio used for instruction, the extent to which schools had access to the Internet for instructional purposes, and the extent to which ICT contributed to changes in approaches to pedagogy. The data were collected in 1998–1999.

Target population

The study surveyed school principals and technology coordinators from a representative sample of computer-using schools from at least one of the following educational levels in each country: primary, lower secondary, and upper secondary.

Participating education systems

Belgium (French), Bulgaria, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, and Thailand.

England, the Netherlands, and the United States did not participate in the data collection for SITES-M1, but comparative statistics from national studies conducted at the same time were included in the SITES-M1 report.

Key findings

ICT equipment in schools

Nearly all of the participating countries had national initiatives to provide schools with ICT. The average percentage of multimedia-ready computers in primary schools was 50–75% in most countries, whereas at the secondary level it was about 25–50%. More than one third of all countries had a national initiative to give schools or their students access to the Internet. Most of the countries had already connected over 50% of their schools to the Internet, though this varied across countries (for example, in Singapore and Iceland, 100% of schools had access, compared to less than 25% of schools in some other countries).

While the ratio of students to computers differed considerably across countries (for example, at the lower-secondary level among computer-using schools, the student-to-computer ratio was 9:1 in Canada and 10:1 in New Zealand, compared to 134:1 in Lithuania and 210:1 in Cyprus), a comparison using data from TIMSS 1995 indicated that this ratio declined substantially between 1995 and 1998.


School principals generally had a positive attitude toward ICT usage in their schools. A number of school principals also reported that they had adopted ICT policies of various sorts in their schools, such as plans for equipment replacement, staff development, software acquisition, equity of access, and Internet use. The majority of school principals reported that they had a policy goal of training all teachers in the use of ICT, but this goal had been achieved in only a minority of schools in most countries.

In some schools, teachers had begun to use ICT to change toward a more student-centered pedagogical approach with the aim of making students more active in and responsible for their own learning. This change was especially apparent, for instance, at the lower-secondary level in Denmark, Israel, Canada, Hungary, and Slovenia.

Major publications

Pelgrum, W.J., & Anderson, R.E. (Eds.). (2001). ICT and the emerging paradigm for life-long learning: An IEA educational assessment of infrastructure, goals, and practices in twenty-six countries (2nd ed.). Amsterdam: IEA.