“RuralEducation.org” connects schools in remote areas with 21st-century tools

The Rural Education Technology Alliance (RETA) is a new organization of five leading technology companies committed to working with rural educators and education organizations to assess and address the unique technology needs of rural schools. Member companies are San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems; Sun Microsystems, headquartered internationally; Charlotte, N.C.-based LearningStation; Polycom Inc. of Milpitas, Calif.; and Alaska-based General Communications Inc. (GCI). By working with education organizations and rural leaders, RETA aims to help implement strategies to improve educational technology in rural areas. The brand-new RETA web site contains a number of case studies from rural school entities that have implemented the products of the member groups creatively. Case studies include Oklahoma’s OneNet distance learning network, the Arizona Department of Education’s use of an ASP (application service provider) model to deliver software to the state’s school districts, and Alaska’s Northwest Arctic Borough School District’s satellite-based distance learning partnership with GCI, among others. The site also includes a searchable list of rural education resources.


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