Open Classes and Access to Learning Opportunities for Young People in Rural Communities
In most countries some people live beyond major centres of population and, with the advance of e-learning, expect to receive the same educational opportunities as those who live in cities. For governments this raises the policy problem of justifying the provision of specialized teaching and learning resources in sparsely-populated areas that will be used by relatively few people. In rural Canada a solution has been found in the internet-based academic and administrative integration of small schools in rural communities so that they are able to share teachers, particularly those in specialized areas of the curriculum. The development of collaborative teaching and learning has been facilitated by these structures known as school district intranets. The purpose of creating open classes that link teachers and learners in small schools in rural communities is to extend educational and, ultimately, vocational opportunities, for young people. Internet-linked open classrooms that connect increasing numbers of rural students within school district intranets use traditional face to face and virtual teaching and learning. These open educational structures challenge the dominance of school size and location, enabling young people to meet in educational cyberspace to share experiences and collaborate in learning projects. // Paper ID 94
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