The digital divide

Is not only between rich and poor.  Rural students are also handicapped.  Just try doing your job without internet access. By Sara Grossman, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

For Internet Access, Rural Students Have to Hit the Road
In an era when education increasingly takes place online, broadband Internet access is a basic necessity for students, says Tom M. Koutsky, chief policy counsel at Connected Nation, a nonprofit that works to expand such access in the United States. Students today are minimally expected to perform research and submit assignments online, and they need reliable, fast Internet access to do so, he says. 
Over all, according to the FCC, 6 percent of Americans do not have broadband available in their area. Of even greater concern, Mr. Koutsky says, is that 30 percent of Americans who do have access to high-speed Internet have not signed up, often because it is prohibitively expensive for them. 
Colleges in areas without high-speed home Internet service rack up costs of their own, often going to unusual lengths to help students and local residents get online. Many offer extended library and computer-lab hours as well as training sessions and online support for those who might not be as technologically savvy. Turtle Mountain Community College, a tribal institution serving the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in rural North Dakota, even provides courses for members of its impoverished community on how to use the Internet.

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