ERIC Number: ED416042
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The National Information Infrastructure: Keeping Rural Values and Purposes in Mind. ERIC Digest.
Howley, Craig; Barker, Bruce
This digest examines the practical significance for rural communities of the emerging national information infrastructure, highlights some potential pitfalls, and draws connections to rural education. During the 1980s, computers and computer networks became increasingly commonplace, and in the early 1990s, the Internet and World Wide Web emerged as a global trading and communications phenomenon. Today, about 65 percent of schools are connected to the Internet, and another 22 percent plan to connect within the year. Smaller and more rural schools have fewer computers and less telecommunications service. Federally mandated discounts on telecommunications services sold to schools and libraries will help defray costs in rural areas. However, the emergence of a global information infrastructure is no guarantee of development of educational forms that will sustain rural communities. Further, despite decades of expectation, computers have not yet "revolutionized" schooling. Appropriate use of technology in rural classrooms requires consideration of the purposes of rural education. Leading rural practitioners have recommended that instruction in rural schools be contextualized, reflecting local traditions and locally defined purposes. The information infrastructure could help rural educators take better account of local contexts by providing a forum for changes in habitual ways of thinking and talking about "rural sorts of education." Strategic rules of thumb are offered for rural schools and communities considering technology implementation. Contains 14 references. (SV)
Descriptors: Appropriate Technology, Educational Change, Educational Principles, Educational Technology, Elementary Secondary Education, Internet, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Rural Schools, School Community Relationship
ERIC/CRESS, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.