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ERIC Number: ED382437
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Power of Babble: Technology and Rural Education.
Howley, Craig B.; Howley, Aimee
This paper critiques the notion that technology can solve the problems of rural schools. The critique begins with the recognition that the United States is an economic empire, that technology is the instrument of empire, and that national objectives for education are concerned with promoting economic competitiveness. While rural places are marginal to the national economy, they still contain nearly half of U.S. schools--schools whose failure would seriously compromise the overall mission of U.S. schooling. While the old educational technology focused on developing consistency by standardizing professional practices and other inputs, the new technology takes equivalence of results (outcomes) as the root of accountability. "Outcomes-based education" is the systemic initiative that makes such uniformity possible, and technology may be construed as the route through which a concordance of goals and results can best be implemented. However, the "one-best system" of schooling is inimical to rural community and rural virtues, such as sense of place and stewardship of the earth, and has no use for a rural education based in local culture. The question of whether there are appropriate technologies to support rural community-based education is discussed in terms of three beguiling arguments in favor of telecommunications in rural schools: that telecommunications is empowering, enriching, and egalitarian. The paper refutes these arguments and suggests that the benefits of telecommunications for rural schools and communities have been exaggerated. Appropriate technologies would be accessible to rural students and teachers; would serve the legitimate interests of rural places in opposition to the vested interests that are destroying rural places; and would nurture virtue ("the good") as something accessible locally rather than as an import. Finally, appropriate technology would sustain rather than divert local purposes and resources. (SV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A