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Distance Learning Opens Doors for Rural Districts

As many folks have predicted, I think we've just seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to distance learning, which is pretty much an umbrella term for any situation where a teacher interacts with students who are not in the same classroom, such as online classes or interactive-TV classes. This AP story examines how schools in Minnesota are using distance learning, mostly through Project SOCRATES. Distance learning is having a particularly strong impact in smaller, rural districts, according to the article.

"These classes are really crucial for school districts," said Dave Henning, SOCRATES E-learning manager, "especially some of the smaller ones in the region who don't have enough students to fill an entire class or have lost electives because of budget cuts."

The jury's still out, says the article, about how effective distance learning classes are, but the students don't seem to notice much of a difference.

Does your school district participate in distance learning? If yes, is it something that you would recommend to other districts?

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