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Small and Smaller: A Comparison of Information Technology in Rural and Frontier Nevada Schools

Introduction

Kim Vidoni, Cleborne D. Maddux

Most educators, parents, and students seem to agree that computers and information technology should play an increasingly important role in education. As schools continue to add hardware and software, there has been concern about equity. One fear has been that students in rural schools may be at a disadvantage compared to students in urban or suburban school districts. A major problem in interpreting the small, existing body of research comparing the use of information technology in urban and rural schools is the variety of ways that the term rural is defined by researchers. This study developed two matrices (Appendix A and B) and used them to categorize rural districts as either frontier (extremely isolated) or other rural and compared computing resources. The study determined that frontier schools have a higher quantity and quality of information technology resources per student and per classroom while rural schools tend to have faster and higher quality Internet connections.

(Posted Online on January 10, 2008)

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