Tech Support for Rural Teachers

As reported by Homeroom, the official blog of the US Department of Education, some rural teachers are receiving web-based guidance through a large-scale distance coaching study by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  The Department’s Institute for Education Sciences funds the study through a five-year grant.

Homeroom describes how the guidance works,

Inside a classroom at Chantry Elementary School in the small town of Malvern, Iowa, four 1st grade students are gathered around a table facing Becky Curtis. She is teaching them to read.  It appears to be a traditional reading intervention class. However, they are not alone.

A state away in Omaha, Nebraska, Mrs. Patty Smith is observing the small group via WebEx software and a webcam on an open laptop sitting on a table behind the students. Occasionally Mrs. Smith speaks with Ms. Curtis through a small listening device. The technology is allowing Mrs. Smith to communicate, see and hear the students’ responses and their teacher’s instruction.

For more information on this program, see the full story from Homeroom.  For information on 2014 funding opportunities from the Institute of Education Sciences see their website.