Technology for Rural Schools

There is now widespread recognition that rural development in the 21st century will be closely tied to the effective use of new and emerging information technologies. Within the educational context, these new technologies can also offer unique solutions to persistent problems in declining enrollments, limited course offerings, limited Advanced Placement opportunities, and data collection

The links listed below provide a glimpse of the extant research on technological solutions for rural districts.

Bridging the Digital Divide in America's Rural Schools

Broadband and Rural Education: An Examination of the Challenges, Opportunities, and Support Structures that Impact Broadband and Rural Education

Foundation for Rural Education and Development: Technology Grants

National Center for Education Statistics: School Facilities, Access, and Use of Technology


Breaking the Fall - Cushioning the Impact of Rural Declining Enrollment
Lorna Jimerson, Ed.D (2006)
This report highlights the role that state educational policies have in either magnifying the challenges of declining enrollment, or conversely, mitigating them. The report contains 20 policy recommendations, primarily focused on state funding formulas.

Net Choices, Net Gains: Supplementing High School Curriculum with Online Courses (PDF)
Julie Z. Aronson & Mike J. Timms (2004)
All secondary school students deserve a wide array of high-quality courses. Yet many schools, especially smaller, rural and resource-poor urban schools, can offer little more than a basic curriculum. For their students, these limited offerings can translate into a limited future.

Creating Technology Infrastructures in a Rural School District: A Partnership Approach (PDF)
Dennis Jensen (2000)
Rural schools face significant challenges in upgrading their technology infrastructures. Rural school districts tend to have older school buildings that have multiple problems and lack climate control, adequate space, and necessary wiring. In rural districts, it may be difficult to find the leadership and expertise needed to provide professional development, create an appropriate technology plan, and manage and maintain building and system infrastructures. This document describes how Wayne (Nebraska) Community School District overcame these difficulties through a collaboration with Wayne State College, the chamber of commerce and city council, local businesses, federal and state agencies, and the students themselves.

The National Information Infrastructure: Keeping Rural Values and Purposes in Mind. ERIC Digest
Craig B. Howley & Bruce Barker (1997)
This Digest from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools examines the practical significance for rural communities of the emerging national information infrastructure, highlights some related potential pitfalls, draws some connections to rural education, and refers the reader to other sources.

Using Technology To Improve the Curriculum of Small Rural Schools. ERIC Digest
David Monk (1989)
This Digest makes the argument that the most attractive applications involve combinations of two types of technology, microcomputers and distance education technology, in ways that depart significantly from traditional thinking about the delivery of instruction and the role played by on-site (sometimes called "proximate") teachers.