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Rural schools face significant challenges in upgrading their technology infrastructures. Rural school districts tend to have older school buildings that have multiple problems and lack climate control, adequate space, and necessary wiring. In rural districts, it may be difficult to find the leadership and expertise needed to provide professional development, create an appropriate technology plan, and manage and maintain building and system infrastructures. In addition, rural districts may not have local companies available or willing to partner with schools in technology projects, and staff members may not have the time or experience to write grant applications for technology development. Wayne (Nebraska) Community School District overcame these difficulties through a collaboration with Wayne State College, the chamber of commerce and city council, local businesses, federal and state agencies, and the students themselves. In 1992, a districtwide committee of diverse stakeholders developed goals and identified needs for a comprehensive technology plan. During the plan's implementation, the nearby college was a constant resource. Stages in the plan included installation of a computer lab, distance education activities, expansion of technology infrastructure with a corporate grant, and development of a communitywide computer network. Lessons learned from the Wayne experience concern the needs for careful planning, continual training of staff and students, and a vision for the future. (SV)

Descriptors: Distance Education, Educational Facilities Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Internet, Partnerships in Education, Rural Schools, School Buildings, School Districts, Technology Integration

Autor: Jensen, Dennis


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