Tech providers on expanding access to rural students

What are the biggest technology barriers for students in rural areas who want to pursue postsecondary education but can’t get to a campus? How can colleges break through those barriers?

“The greatest challenge for students in rural areas involves access to engaging and pedagogically sound mobile learning experiences. Through investments in accessibility, a focus on mobile learning and a data-informed approach to instructional design, institutions have the opportunity to increase access and see more students graduate with high-quality credentials.”

 —Timothy Harfield, senior product marketing manager, Blackboard

Link to main story: How colleges reach remote students

“The biggest technical challenge facing rural areas is bandwidth. If a lecture freezes due to a poor quality connection, it makes learning nearly impossible. To break through those barriers one should consider a video platform that delivers high-quality video over low-bandwidth conditions. With this capability, students in remote rural areas can participate in a class as if they were in the same physical space.”

 —Cara Daly, director product marketing, Vidyo

“If the school does not have the infrastructure for building a true distance-learning solution, then it could be a difficult learning environment. Also, if the student does not have a strong enough home network, then that could hinder the experience as well. A virtual classroom that is purposely built for distance learning enables [institutions] to have additional enrollment and tuition as well as opens classes to a larger potential demographic.”

 —Kathryn Cordina, business development manager, learning experience, wePresent

Sherrie Negrea is an Ithaca, New York-based writer and frequent contributor to UB.

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