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Tech providers on expanding access to rural students

University Business, August 2018

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.