The Open Classroom: Distance Learning in and out of Schools

By Jo Bradley | Go to book overview

Chapter 10

E-learning and the development of open classes for rural students in Atlantic Canada

Ken Stevens

In urbanized societies like Canada, with economies that depend on the development of resources located in rural and remote areas, there is a direct economic relationship between the viability of schools in rural communities and national prosperity. It is difficult to maintain viable rural community infrastructures without schools that are perceived by parents and students to be at least as good as those in urban areas. However, it is often difficult for educational administrators to justify the provision of full-time, on-site teachers for small senior classes in rural schools. Economies of scale have in the past encouraged senior students from rural communities, particularly those intending to enrol in tertiary educational institutions, to complete their education in larger, usually urban, high schools, or in boarding schools (Stevens, 1997).

The introduction of e-learning in rural communities in Atlantic Canada has provided a new way of delivering educational opportunities to those who live beyond major centres of population, by using the Internet to interface schools academically and administratively. Within the new electronic structure that is

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