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ERIC Number: ED477416
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Feb
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Reaching Out to the Teachers of Teachers: Distance Education in Rural Alaska.
Reyes, Maria Elena
In the spring of 2001, the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Education included a web-based instructional component in all distance education classes. This component aims to mediate access and equity issues in providing postsecondary education to rural Alaska residents. The number of courses offered through distance education had been limited by the time constraints involved in audio-conferencing, which had been the main means of delivering coursework. Students taking courses by distance delivery, including many Alaska Natives, were taking up to 15 years to complete their college degree. Geographic isolation also made it difficult for already licensed teachers to take additional coursework, either for professional development or to climb the salary scale. Almost immediately following the decision, some members of the rural faculty showed resistance to learning the web-based system. The heightened nature and tone of the resistance suggested fear in using the system, fear of technology in general, and fear of change. In the fall of 2001, a team flew to the rural campuses to provide technology training workshops. Observations made during the campus visits indicated that well-equipped computer labs at some sites were under-utilized; technical support staff was available at each site; and under-attendance at many workshops implicated faculty indifference to learning the web-based system. It was concluded that reluctant faculty must be accorded every possible support measure to assist them in learning to utilize new technologies. (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alaska