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2020-2021 WI Digital Learning Survey Results by State

DPI is pleased to present the state-level digital learning data (2020-21 school year) for K-12 public schools in Wisconsin! DPI has compiled the survey responses of over 94% of Wisconsin school districts. School district participation was voluntary and greatly appreciated!

On this page, you will find charts that represent a cross-section of the survey questions included in the Digital Learning Survey. The charts are inclusive of all five gears of the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan and include a brief explanation of the data shown. This is the fourth year of the longitudinal survey and can be leveraged to identify trends.  For the complete set of state-level data, please scroll to the bottom of the page to find the PDF link. Archived versions of previous surveys can be found in the menu on the left of the page.
***Data from the 2020-2021 survey contains information provided by districts during a year that included COVID-19. The data from this survey may be affected by this event, but it is still very valuable to use while analyzing local district planning and programming. Many Wisconsin districts have modified the learning experience in their schools and that shift may be reflected in the survey data provided during this year.

Hover over the chart to view the exact numbers of each data subset.

Gear 1: Instruction, Learning, and Assessment

The Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan is about teaching and learning in the digital environment in which citizens now live and work. It is not about devices, software, apps, or the latest tools. It is about the thoughtful planning, preparation, and analysis of student outcomes, professional learning, culture, and leadership.

The above chart shows that on average, the majority of curricular materials in districts are in a combination of print and digital formats.

The above chart shows that many Wisconsin districts leverage a wide range of tools and resources to support their online/digital learning opportunities.  Distance learning tools and resources have almost doubled over last year.

The above chart shows that 55% of districts statewide (about 230 in total) have implemented some form of Virtual Learning Time in their district. 

The above chart shows 66% of districts report using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in their instructional practices. 

Gear 2: Technology and Hardware

The emphasis of this section of the plan is on the deployment of the systems critical to the success of all efforts toward student achievement. Those systems include student devices, digital content, networking hardware and software, bandwidth, service provider contracts, leadership, and technical training and support.

The number of school districts prepared to support 1:1 computing continues to grow. In 2020-21, 90 percent of districts reported all of their schools were capable of supporting 1:1 computer programs. This is evidence of the positive impact of additional investments made via the FCC e-rate program.

This chart shows a consistent level of students that have an assigned device over the last four years, but fewer and fewer districts each year do not offer devices at some level.

During the pandemic, there was an increase in students' ability to access the Internet at home to complete homework assignments and other school-related activities. Despite that progress, nearly 1 of every 5 districts reported that 30 percent or more of their students lacked Internet access for learning at home. 

Nearly 2 of every 5 districts report the lack of a provider remains a barrier to student household Internet access for one-quarter or more of their students. Even more extremely, 1 of every 10 districts indicates the lack of a provider is the barrier to access for three quarters or more of their students.

Half of all districts report affordability remains a barrier to student household Internet access for one-quarter or more of their students. Nearly 20 percent of all districts indicate that affordability is the barrier to access for three-quarters or more of their students.

With schools moving to virtual and blended learning during the pandemic, more than 4 of every 5 districts provided hotspots to increase student access, a four-fold increase from the year before.

Gear 3: Empowering and Innovative Leadership

Innovative leadership has the opportunity to inspire change, support risk-taking, and communicate expectations of use through curriculum, goals, and outcomes for all learners.

The above chart shows 96% of school districts report they are using virtual, digital learning in some way in their schools. 

The above chart shows how districts are delivering that virtual, digital learning to students. 

The above chart shows 54% of school districts say they have STEM integrated into their course offerings.

In the third year of building awareness and providing professional learning opportunities around the process of library planning, we have seen three times as many districts working on completing and integrating district-level library planning than in 2019-20. This leads to additional districts in compliance with Wisconsin Administrative Code PI8.01(2)(h). Focused efforts to build capacity for effective, well-implemented library planning has been a priority for DPI. 

Gear 4: Professional Learning and Building Capacity

Professional development encourages, facilitates, and often requires education professionals individually and collaboratively to create, join, and sustain professional networks both within and outside of the district, frequently leveraging the latest in social media. If districts establish flexible policies and practices that encourage and credit the personalization of professional learning for teachers, administrators, and other education professionals, the result ultimately will help reduce the digital divide by fostering equitable learning opportunities focused on critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation.

The above chart shows districts have increased the amount of professional learning on technology for all staff listed over the past year.

Professional Learning Formats for Technology or Technology Integration


The above chart shows that, though the order of the top five professional learning opportunities utilized has changed, districts continue to leverage many of the same opportunities from year to year.


Gear 5: Data and Privacy

Districts across Wisconsin continue to improve and grow the data security and privacy posture. As threats continue to increase, DPI and districts can use this data to assist in planning and preparing for data and cyber incidents. As this is an area that changes rapidly, plans and audits also need to be ongoing and continual. 

PDF copy of the full survey data (state-level)