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ERIC Number: EJ930755
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1066-2847
High Tech in Small Places
Shah, Nirvi
Teaching Tolerance, n38 p36-38 Fall 2010
Across a giant swath of desert and mountain terrain southeast of Tucson, one yellow school bus has been carrying an extra passenger since last fall. Along with dozens of students, the bus rolls through the Vail School District's most far-flung portions equipped with a wireless router. It delivers the Internet to students for as many as three hours a day on their long commutes to and from school in rural Arizona. Instead of just hanging out, sending text messages or hunching over homework in their laps, high school students can now do research and e-mail their teachers as they ride. It is just one way in which rural school districts are tapping into technology to improve student achievement. In northernmost Alaska, many students have been given their own laptops. In western Washington State, students take virtual classes their small high school cannot offer. And in tiny Howe, Oklahoma, students produce their own virtual field trips to far-flung places. These programs are part of a broader national effort to bring technology into the classroom. However, the use of technology to solve educational problems often creates controversy. For instance, not everyone is impressed with the idea of turning school buses into classrooms. Many rural school advocates say that it helps make people comfortable with the idea of epic-length bus rides. "If bus rides are so long that we have to try to invent ways to make the time useful, the problem is the length of the bus ride," said Marty Strange, policy program director at the Rural School and Community Trust. "All that does is show that certain kids will take advantage of every opportunity, no matter how bad you abuse them." Technology's problems do not end there when it comes to rural schools. Bringing up-to-date technology to a school district can be expensive, despite grant money and bond issues. And without teacher training--that sticks--and teachers who adapt, the investment may be wasted.
Southern Poverty Law Center. 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104. Tel: 334-956-8200; Fax: 334-956-8484; Web site: http://www.tolerance.org/teach/magazine/index.jsp
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A