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Learn At Length

Author(s):

Galen Rosenberg

Audience: 

Difficulty:

School Administrators

Location:

United States

Transformation Element:

Community-Engagement

Educational technology relies on infrastructure. As Maren Morris says “When the bones are good, the rest don’t matter.” The greatest and most intuitive learning management systems, the best instructional videos and sites, and the most accurate simulations are completely worthless without the ability to serve them to the students as needed. Even with rudimentary tools, a great educator can motivate, inspire, and enlighten students as long as the teacher can communicate with the student in a timely and reliable manner. The missing piece is internet infrastructure. Urban areas are flush with this, but what about rural areas? Many lack broadband to the FCC's definition due to terrain issues, no economy-of-scale to bring in large telcos, and socioeconomic hardships to obtain what little access is possible. Deep east Texas, Appalachia, Arizona desert - they all have different combinations of these obstacles but the all have the same need: to provide the same educational opportunities to EVERY student regardless of location. Digital equity is the goal and reliable broadband access is the way to it. Rural and remote locations also have opportunities to exploit and there's plenty of information on the Web to use for that purpose, but where to start? Learn At Length aims to serve as the launchpad for districts, a hub of information and inspiration for how to bridge the gap. The reader will find plans to follow, companies to patronize, and contacts to explore in order to get remote learning off of the ground and onto the air!