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Integrate Technology Into Core Of Rural Schools, Official Says

Cost and resource levels make it harder to incorporate technology at many of the nation's rural schools, said the U.S. Department of Education's point person for technology, and finding ways to overcome those obstacles is part of the follow-up work being done in response to a Rural Education Technology Summit held this summer in Washington.

In an interview with Tech & Learning magazine about the summit's impact, Karen Cator, director of education technology, said the Education Department is looking at how to overcome funding challenges in rural schools by integrating technology into the core context of programs.

"For example, some schools are using a technology-based Algebra program," she told Tech & Learning. "They are giving each student a device they can use for that and other work as well; they can do writing, translation, calculations—there are so many different applications they can access once they have the device in their hands and if they use it 24/7, even better."

Yet finding money for pricey devices and the support to integrate them into daily learning isn't that simple in many rural school districts. In the interview neither Cator nor John White, deputy secretary for rural outreach at the Education Department, offered specifics about where small, rural schools—often hamstrung by limited resources—might look for help funding expensive technology.
Both stressed sharing and leveraging investments among rural school districts.

Read the entire Q&A with Cator and White here. There's also a video of the interview here.
Read Edweek's coverage of the Rural Education Technology Summit on the Digital Education blog and on the Rural Education blog.

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