The Expansion of Educational Opportunities in Rural Communities using Web-based Resources

K. Stevens (Canada)


Web-based education; e-learning; pedagogy; rural;intranet


The policy issue of human resource allocation for small schools and the sociological issue of the provision of equality of educational opportunity for rural students have been addressed using web-based resources in Atlantic Canada. In the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, electronic teaching and learning structures - School District Digital Intranets, within which virtual classes have been organized for a range of subjects, have enabled schools to academically and administratively integrate. School District Digital Intranets enable schools that are small in terms of on-site student enrollment to become comprehensive educational institutions in terms of the curriculum they can offer through the integration of web based resources into both on-site with on-line teaching and learning. Classrooms in a growing number of Newfoundland and Labrador communities have thereby been expanded within digital intranets in terms of time, space, organization and capacity. This paper will highlight challenges in the organization of e-learning in rural communities in Atlantic Canada, particularly the search for appropriate pedagogy using web-based resources. Details will be provided of emerging pedagogy for science and mathematics education based on web-resources and the realignment of classroom instruction to include e-teachers (electronic teachers); m-teachers (mediating teachers linking e learners and e-teachers) and Internet Facilitators to enable synchronous and asynchronous learning to develop.

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