More than half the nation’s school districts are located in rural areas, and one-fifth of all public school children are enrolled in rural schools. There are successful models for providing access to college-level coursework, new content, and high-quality teaching online and through blended learning with faculty using the latest technology innovations, according to an ED press release.

Some of those models were highlighted during a panel discussion moderated by Gene Wilhoit, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

“Our goal as chief state school officers is to move from these beautiful exceptions to mass scalability,” he said.

All schools in South Dakota have been wired for the internet since the 1990s, as well as every school in New Hampshire, but New Hampshire Commissioner of Education Virginia Barry said the state’s schools still have issues with connectivity. And South Dakota Superintendent Tom Oster noted that the state network’s connection speed has slowed over the years without some of the necessary maintenance.

Through its National Education Initiative (NEI), NMAI has started to offer historically accurate and authentic educational materials about American Indians. NEI’s mission is to share American Indian knowledge through educational excellence and many of the reservations where American Indians live are in very rural areas.

“We know there’s need for this content,” said Tim Johnson, associate director for museum programs at NMAI. “Teachers and curriculum supervisors need in-depth educational materials that integrate native perspectives.”

NEI offers a number of online resources, including videos, lesson plans, and other tools, as well as professional development to train teachers about integrating Native American perspectives into lessons.

Links:

U.S. Department of Education

Federal Communications Commission

Council of Chief State School Offices

National Museum of the American Indian – Education


Note to readers:

Don’t forget to visit the Re-imagining Education resource center. Inspiring and engaging today’s 21st-century learners, who have grown up surrounded with digital media and are used to having instant access to information, requires flexible resources that change with students’ needs. When teachers can leverage multiple technologies in a resource-rich classroom—supported by top-notch professional development—students forget they’re in school and instead become excited about real-world applications of the lessons they are learning. Go to:

Re-imagining Education