ERIC Number: ED401077
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
The Evolution of a Rural Learning Community.
Gooler, Dennis D.
This paper describes how rural school districts can use educational technology to evolve into learning communities that meet the learning needs of all community members. The story of a fictitious small rural school district illustrates how the role of education can be expanded through technology. The superintendent developed a distance education program to bring greater educational resources to the community and minimize the disadvantages of being a small and geographically isolated school district. As a result, students had opportunities to take courses not offered at their school, exchange e-mail messages with other students around the world, and participate in joint research projects with students from other schools. Teachers had opportunities to participate in professional development courses. After a year, distance education services were expanded into the community. As a result, professional members of the community were able to enhance their knowledge, skills, and services through technology, and all community members were able to obtain information on topics of interest. Small districts' goals in developing learning communities may include the following: (1) all residents should have access to more formal or structured learning opportunities as well as learning resources beyond formal courses; (2) residents should have better ways of sharing resources with the community; (3) residents should explore the possibility of new kinds of industries and businesses for the community; and (4) the community should become part of a larger community, while retaining its unique characteristics. The paper also describes various technology systems and outlines steps for building a learning community. (LP)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Community Development, Community Education, Community Information Services, Community Resources, Distance Education, Educational Change, Educational Opportunities, Educational Technology, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, Nonformal Education, Professional Development, Program Development, Rural Education, Rural Schools, School Community Programs, School Districts
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A