Wiring Rural Schools Can Work—With a Little Planning

Educational Leadership, May 1998, p. 71

The challenges of wiring schools in rural, economically underdeveloped areas are considerable. But the residents and students in rural Christopher, Ill., are enjoying the effects of two community-based technology programs.

Marla Harp, the architect of the program and technology coordinator for the regional education office that includes the Christopher High School District, says their award-winning technology programs depended on a strong vision, an army of volunteers, and these key ingredients: community involvement, engaged learning, professional development, and successful technology deployment.

The most difficult parts of the plan, according to Harp, were the engaged learning and professional development components. These required not only making students and teachers computer-literate, but also integrating those new skills successfully into the school’s curriculum.

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