Rural educators creatively respond to connectivity gaps, but need support

As recent research shows that rural school districts were less likely to provide remote learners with devices and mobile hotspots than urban districts in the pandemic (despite similar lack of access across places), a new Brookings piece explores solutions. The authors elevate strategies that were successful in some rural spaces, including mapping local places with internet access, purchasing cellular data for students, directing families to free or low cost internet providers, and setting out hotspots and outdoor work space on school grounds. For rural communities struggling with transportation, teachers checked in by phone or recorded video lessons and delivered via USB drive. While these strategies illustrate the creativity in addressing rural connectivity challenges, the authors also acknowledge that these efforts require serious support from their local, state, and federal leaders who can help fund and facilitate these and other solutions that are tailored to individual communities’ and families’ needs. #covid-19 #education #rural

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