Out in the Country
One research director, Andrea Beesley, who wrote a piece for our October issue on the use of technology in rural schools says she has gotten used to questions she would never get when discussing urban or suburban schools: Questions like, "Do they even have computers?" or "Is there access to the internet out there?" In most cases, of course, the answer to both questions is, "Yes, but there are differences."
In our feature entitled, "Remote Learning: Technology in Rural Schools," contributing writer Dan Gordon has some intriguing accounts of how technology is being used to assure that students in very remote parts of the country (like Kodiak Island, in the middle of the North Pacific, 300 miles southwest of Anchorage) have the same educational opportunities as their peers in built-up areas.
Beesley, a senior director at McREL (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning
), also included in her piece the particular difficulties teachers have when they make the decision to begin their careers in rural communities--and the opportunities technology offers to help them with those difficulties. Finally, John Harrington, CEO of Funds for Learning, gives readers an update on applying for E-Rate funding, something not necessarily unique to rural schools, but certainly a program those districts in remote locations have been able to take advantage of.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.