OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Class Roll - Collaborative Mobile Access and Support - updated 2/26 Prototype

A mobile support bus equipped with computer/internet access and on-board advisor in rural areas supports students accessing HE anywhere.

Photo of Terry Hosler
44 10

Written by

Class Roll

See attachments for User Experience Map, Prototype and Additional Resources.

Context and Need

In many parts of America and the world, accessibility to higher education, particularly through multiple options is limited by distance and technology access.

In the south, the plains and mountain areas of America, for instance, a single county can be easily 40 or 50 miles from end to end with no public transportation, a single public library, very limited employment opportunities or educational options with the closest campuses often in the next county or more than 20 miles away (a quick conversion for New York City would be 20 blocks per mile so…approximately 400 blocks away with no subway, taxi or bus!)

If you don’t have a reliable car, online classes are your only option to higher education without finding a way to afford living on campus. Broadband access may not be available. According to 2016 statistics by Internet Live Stats, over a million Americans still have no access to the internet in their home.  Six of the counties in the eastern Kentucky mountains are listed among the poorest counties in America, with eight being among the 25 worst counties in America list for economic opportunity. Although broadband may be 'as close as the pole outside the house', the closest free wi-fi may only be gained at the Wendy’s or Subway restaurants 15-20 miles away. Families below the poverty line have little, if any, funds to pay for internet access in their homes even if a student’s tuition may be covered by their financial aid.

With only online access to support and very limited transportation to physical campuses, first generation students are often isolated and confused by the processes and multiple online tools and accesses to resources and protocols necessary for success.

I am absolutely not painting a picture of destitution only of challenges. The people in rural America work hard, are proud of where they come from and care strongly about a better future for their children and their communities.

There are very bright minds with big dreams and ideas for solving the problems of the future. Innovation and persistence are found in every hollow, mountain top and plain. If rural American counties, like many places around the globe, could bottle their natural beauty, cultural richness and boundless potential they would be wealthy beyond measure.

Thoughtstarter

In an age where we seem to access anything digitally to be delivered to our homes, we can provide online access to higher education but are still expecting students to find a way to a physical campus for support and guidance.

There are examples of options for innovation and reimagining, using technology to provide access and support though higher education to isolated, challenged areas.

The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) is the agency responsible for managing student loans and state level scholarships, supporting financial aid for the state and providing information on college enrollment across the Commonwealth. One of the services KHEAA offers is a retrofitted bus with a satellite dish and workstations so that students in remote areas can do financial aid and scholarship searches as well as explore college options and websites. Called the College Info Road Show, (see photos) there is only one and it is booked to visit K-12 schools across the state.

Building on Kate Rushton’s Challenge Thoughtstarter: Higher Education Remote Location Service https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/future-of-highered/ideas/thoughtstarter-higher-education-remote-location-service-please-build-on-this , this idea is an expansion and enhancement of my post Have Advice, Will Travel https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/future-of-highered/ideas/have-advice-will-travel .

Solution Idea

What if….we took the KHEAA bus idea only instead of information on financial aid for high school students, it functions as a rolling classroom and/or advisement center for higher education options from multiple institutions. Visiting communities on a regular schedule the bus would carry an advisor who could be working through a financial aid process with one student while another participates in an online project from a different college or a multi-student forum or study group works on a project with other students in remote locations.

The bus could also serve as a ‘lifelong learner’ location for adults, parents or senior citizens learning college information, computer usage or opportunities for additional training. The satellite dish allows connection to the internet from even the most isolated communities.

Logistics/Implementation Needs:

  1. Partnership agreements (MOA) would need to be drawn and applications filed for supporting grants and corporate funding requests, information/data sharing and role definition. This would also include working with corporate/industrial partners, internet access providers and insurance coverage.
  2. Participating colleges would supply a list of students in the proposed service area. Each school would send out a notice to online students or even commuting students in the area about the availability of support in their community/neighborhood and an interest survey assessing types of support needs.
  3. A bus would need to be located and retrofitted with workstations and satellite accessibility equipment.
  4. A driver/advisor would need to be located and trained with each participating program or institution as needed for student guidance.
  5. Participating students would need to provide a FERPA release for the Advisor in order for the college to allow the Advisor access to student information or to discuss support needs with student without the student present if needed. When actually on the bus, however, the student would login to the campus site under their own credentials.
  6. A route would need to be mapped based on student concentration or other needs – i.e. adult single day training opportunity. Agreements/permission would be gained for use of business parking lots.
  7. A schedule would need to be developed. The schedule would adjust each semester or season based on the needs of participants. For example, use by senior citizen groups or industry training opportunities could be scheduled for college breaks or stops at Farmer’s Markets for summer access by the community.
  8. Participants contact information will be collected so that they can be sent reminders of a Class Roll stop/schedule or notified of changes in schedule or route due to weather or special event.
  9. Notify media of program. Publicity will assist with funding, support and advertising the program to potential participants.

     10.  Until the bus is road ready, services could be made available by have the advisor do phone/email contacts or in centralized locations utilizing any available wifi and/or a hotspot hub.

 

Insights, Barriers and Challenges

Weather Issues- Although the Class Roll Support Bus could be used for online classes in many locations, weather issues would make this use unreliable for Appalachia and other mountain areas dealing with snow or ice resulting in dangerous travel conditions and cancelled visits in winter terms. A student support focus, however, could be an extremely valuable adjustment. Should the bus not be able to run one day due to road conditions, the Advisor would notify any known participants and offer to assist them as much as possible over the phone or online using platforms such as Google Hangouts or Skype.

Resources – Development of materials with commonalities (glossary of terms and titles – i.e. bursar, registrar, provost) as well as specialized for a particular campus (a community college’s online Student Services Account vs EKU Direct) would need to be available in print for use with participants as reference material.

Maintenance – Scheduling and funding for regular maintenance and upgrading of electronic equipment and software as well as the bus itself must be considered in the budget for the project.

Goal

The ultimate goal of Class Roll is to foster student confidence, self-sufficiency and independence. A progressive student development assessment at the beginning and end of each semester will be used for adjustments to the program. As in any campus support service some students will need more assistance than others for varying amounts of time.

The Class Roll Support Bus program is intended to do higher educational outreach to the whole community in addition to individualized support for enrolled students.

Feedback

Readers and OpenIDEO members have contributed a lot of feedback and refinement ideas for Class Roll including:

  • creating an app for scheduling a stop or appointment on Class Roll and for showing the stops on any given day.

  • combining with other services such as health or adult education or tax services to outreach to more in a one-stop shop format for additional members of the family as well as students.

  • utilize a phased rollout of Class Roll - 1) work with text/phone/online support; 2)transition advisors would work with students in their senior year and on college campuses; 3) add bus for mobile element to support more isolated students;  4) expand services to include adult education and industrial training opportunities providing for marketing and funding opportunities based on success/challenges of each preceeding phase.


See attachments for User Experience Map, Prototype and Additional Resources.

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

Rural or isolated communities, particularly low-income or heavy first-generation populations, higher education institutions, sponsoring industries and corporations. Though a multi-institution collaboration rural and isolated communities gain accessibility to higher education through mobile access and support bus equipped with satellite dish and workstations as well as trained support staff.

This idea emerged from:

  • A group brainstorm
  • An individual

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Input on developing the collaboration and funding opportunities in addition to ideas on how resource would work in your area or how it could be expanded to support larger segments of the population with access and transportation challenges.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

As an early option, we could work with the resources already in place with KHEAA to expand the support to more than just access information and financial aid information. Or work with mobile Wi-Fi or just a mobile support advisor at area gathering locations such as churches, community centers or elementary schools, or farmer's markets.

Tell us about your work experience:

Over my near 40 year career, I have experience in education, healthcare, youth development, higher education and secondary education as well as the non-profit and governmental realms.

How would you describe this idea while in an elevator with someone? 2-3 sentences.

Class Roll is a mobile computer and college access/support lab. It can provide online services from classes to communication to collaborative projects in remote or isolated areas as well as personal advisement and mentoring for success.

What is the specific problem your idea is trying to solve? 1 sentence.

Class Roll addresses the issue of Higher Education accessibility and persistence support particularly focusing on rural, low-income, first-generation or isolated students of all ages along a life-long learning continuum.

How is your idea different or unique from what is currently on the market?

Class Roll has the Higher Education option of online access in isolated communities and blends it with the trained human support element bringing access and support to the student in their own community reducing the limitations of local access and lack of transportation.

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

Class Roll's impact could be measured through the following methodologies: 1) numbers of students accessing Higher Education or gaining support through the program. 2) student retention and persistence increases linked with support provided through the program. 3) increasing enrollment and participation though linking the program with existing community events/agencies/opportunities?

How might your idea be transferable to a large number of people?

As suggested in the comments, the access could be expanded in a given community through adding additional tablets to the stable workstations. Schedule adjustments could also provide expanded opportunities. For example, working with parents and other family and community members during summers or break periods as well as being available for industry trainings at on-site locations. It could be replicated without the bus resource with a portable hotspot wifi hub in some locations for lower cost.

What are your immediate next steps after the challenge?

Develop transitional opportunities - perhaps a Wi-Fi or Hotspot traveling tablet lab to develop interest and limited access along with staffing a college transition counselor to begin building trust and relationships in communities. Surveys and resource mapping and needs assessment would need to be conducted as well as possible route mapping for priority and pilot programs.

44 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of kewoc 99
Team

This article mainly focuses on the Walgreenslistens Survey. Walgreenslistens Survey is nothing but Walgreens Customer Satisfaction Survey where customers can share their experience,
https://thecustomersurvey.club/walgreenslistens-survey/

Photo of Helen Wang
Team

Hi Terry,

I really like the idea of bringing a mobile higher education platform to students who may not have access otherwise. Education can transform someone's life and present great opportunities to make an impact.

I have a few questions regarding the logistics of such a mobile platform. Would the same advisor be working with the same students every week (or however often the meetings are)? Would different advisors be in the bus for different academic subjects? Also, in the description, it mentions a scenario where "an advisor could be working through a financial aid process with one student while another participates in an online project from a different college." Are advisors serving as teachers or are they acting more as facilitators? In other words, do they teach content or simply provide opportunities for students to exercise their knowledge?

I'm excited to see where this idea goes!

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Thank Helen!
Regarding your questions...
Ideally it would be the same advisor so that the student could develop a supportive relationship with them.
The advisor, as envisioned in Class Roll, is more of a facilitator who works with student success issues. In other situations it could very well be a teacher in a small group setting.

Photo of Leonardo Sabo
Team

Hi Terry,

I really like the idea of remotely connecting students via the internet to get more resources. One thing you could add to your idea is the notion of an open platform, where people not only come in to learn but also to collaborate and assist others' learning. I have done lots of research on the power of Collective Intelligence, and know that it would certainly fit your business proposal. In addition to this, I feel like rural students also miss out on a lot of technical learning. You could incorporate a section devoted to teach them about more technical subjects, such as computing and data science, which would help them during recruiting for jobs against people in non-rural areas.
How would this work for international students? Are there additional barriers involved with this? I think it would be good to open this up for a global initiative too!

Good luck!
Best,
Leo

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Thanks Leonardo!

Regarding your questions...

I have had several comments that it would work well with international students. There was even a suggestion that it could be done in other types of vehicles such as a boat in river areas with isolated communities.  Although it would not work for our purposes for actual regularly scheduled classes except for single day seminar settings due to erratic weather conditions impacting the schedule.  In more stable climates, the Class Roll concept could be used for actual classes.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Terry,

There are a few hours left in the refinement phase if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me.

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Thanks Kate!
I still have to post the feedback section and a few other comments.  I appreciate the support.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Terry,

There is just a week left of refinement. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

thanks Kate!  I will be posting the last couple of pieces this week.

Photo of Sarah Davis
Team

Hi Terry Hosler ! Thanks so much for sharing your idea. I've done some research in this space internationally. From what I remember, access to information is a huge component to rural students' higher education access (plus you're adding access to in-person support, which is great). In your user experience map, I noticed that Mike is working on his FAFSA next to Amy. It seems to me that, in addition to advisers, students can learn from each other while in the space together. This may be an additional benefit for you to highlight.

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Thanks for the notice Sarah!  That is absolutely the intent!  That students who are in the same area but taking classes from different campuses not only discover each other but can learn to assist and collaborate with each other.  I am hoping that the students in community colleges will talk with those already in the '4-year' universities and be prepared for a transfer after they earn their associates degree. The advisor can only council so much but then having Mike chime in on how does it work for him would really give that broader perspective.

Terry

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Terry.
Congrats on moving the idea into refinement! There were a few articles in the NYTimes last week about the challenges that students from rural America face regarding access and transition to higher ed, as well as decision making around deciding to choose a college path vs. a vocational path. I found the student interviews and stories informative. (Linking them here to share.)
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/31/education/edlife/voices-from-rural-america-on-why-or-why-not-go-to-college.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/31/education/edlife/colleges-discover-rural-student.html?_r=0

Looking forward to seeing the ideas develop!

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Bettina,

I really want to thank you for the articles.  At least two of the towns referenced are covered by programs in my department and are within an hour and a half of my office.

I will definitely cite these references in the updates I am developing.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Terry,
There was an Idea posted in a past challenge on Global Youth Unemployment that was to create a PopUp Bus Innovation Hub, linked below. It was developed by a global team effort. Perhaps ideas generated there, and research links on mobile classrooms etc., may inspire and help build this idea.

https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/youth-employment-pathways/ideas/pop-up-bus-and-boat-mobile-workshops-that-pop-up-in-communities-around-the-globe-building-pathways-and-employment-opportunities

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Thanks Bettina.  I am currently struggling with time demands from many angles and appreciate all the help I can get.

Photo of Jonathan James
Team

I would absolutely love to do this!

Mobility is obviously a means to providing support to those reaching for it in areas where it's hard to grasp.

As a mentor/coach/advisor/facilitator to students in Florida this would have helped things immensely! Many kids attending my workshops at Colleges were in some rural places. So, I think the best way to cook this into cities is to follow the current mobility (transportation) systems model, perhaps, instead of kids being dropped off to a physical school building, they are dropped off to ride the bus- on which they will learn.

Challenge: Yes, there is always the fact that by being mobile you are endangering passengers- for this reason I would restrict the vehicle to non-highway routes- meaning the speed at which the bus moves is below 55mph on average- unfortunately with human-error being calculated right now- the statistics if you're riding a bus on a highway everyday aren't in the buses favor- so, instead of allowing a bus to travel at 70+mph everyday(a dangerous speed)- restrict it to speeds at which impacts can't bring harm to the precious classroom within- remember- you are helping minds grow- and to put such effort at risk is just not logical in my opinion with respect to human error.

Challenge: Finding teachers is a challenge here - I'm establishing dual-residence at this time, and the data in Oakland keeps showing teachers becoming developers. In addition, to make this mobile and give one person the responsibility of managing an entire bus is going to be a daunting request to make. Therefore this must scale accordingly with interest- I would even say that you need to consider with surveys (detailed surveys) if teachers have interest in this model before trying to introduce it publicly- you must move slow and decide how it will work with location and need at the forefront of your progress. There is a need for this then only in certain places- and whether or not these certain places are open to this model is for the survey to decide- for if teachers don't want to do this with a passion as I perceive I would then there is no program.

One program I would suggest surveying for this model right away would be http://creators.camp

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Hi Jonathan and thanks.

The idea here is to be mobile with the support and resources rather than moving with students onboard.  As envisioned the resource bus would pull into the corner of a market or car lot parking lot (with permission, of course) and meet with students in a stationary location closer to them than the campus for a few hours a time or two a week and then move on to the next location.

One of the challenges from the original thought that I am discussing in updates upcoming is that weather issues in many locations making travel risky would prohibit actually counting on the Class Roll bus to actually use for taking classes.

For our purposes here in Kentucky, it would serve more as a collaborative college support resource lab. Rather than a teacher of a particular class, the 'advisor' would work with a student on process, access, and tech support needs but could also teach or 'facilitate' orientation sessions, fafsa sessions, project support and retentions communication.  They could also serve to facilitate single meeting or occasional class access for seminar type sessions such as a computer use workshop for senior citizen learners or software trainings for workgroups.  In locations with more stable climates, however, it might be used for classes.

To retrofit the bus for actual computer workstations, it only holds 10 at max at a time.  Although one idea shared in a comment by Bettina below was to increase the student capacity at a setting by having an on-board tablet lab and folding table/chairs for surrounding space with a popup awning.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Terry,
Thinking about access what if Class Roll has an associated app which could be used to connect learners to this service in a way that would bring the bus to locations where there are the most students who need access at a set time/place, by asking them to commit a few days ahead of time? Might need and student availability drive where the bus goes rather than creating a schedule which might not serve as many learners at that time?
Maybe the app could also work to connect learners attending Class Roll on specific days so that they might carpool for part or all of their ride to the bus location?

Have you had the opportunity to discuss the idea with local learners or community members in general for feedback?

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Bettina,

Very interesting idea!  thanks for the suggestion.
Some have given feedback but haven't had a chance yet for widespread discussion.

Photo of patty kappmeyer
Team

Hi Terry,
Just an FYI... sharing this link on solving the same problem you are experiencing in rural America. Perhaps an opportunity for partnerships?
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/525951/facebooks-drones-will-battle-googles-balloons-to-spread-internet-access/

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Thanks Patty,

I read the article.  Once this technology is in place it has the potential to help a lot. as far as internet availability is concerned. Thanks so much for the reference!

Partners and collaborations will seriously sought for funding and utilization.  Although terrain and low population density cause slow development of broadband, high-speed options, partners to assist with the cost of equipment and service will be crucial as well

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Hello to all,
We are excited about working with all of you on developing our idea in the Refinement phase of the challenge.  Please forgive the delay in my response and any gaps in the next few days.  I am out of state with a family medical issue and my mom has no internet access at her home nor within a mile or two of her. I have to go to McDonalds' or the Public Library for wifi. She lives in a middle American city of over 100,000.

I promise I will be more responsive next week!      -- Terry

Photo of Andrea Zelenak
Team

Congrats on making it to top ideas! I hope everything with your family is okay.

I think your experience with lack of internet could give you more inspiration for this idea. Just a few thoughts, no need to respond... I really like your idea. I think you should definitely build on the idea of having this bus be used for internet/computer services when there are no classes. If it was on a schedule and made specific stops every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (etc.), I think a lot of people would access it. That could also advertise the class offerings even more. This could be awesome for even teaching groups in areas of poverty by teaching them usable skills to get jobs! I will definitely let you know any other ideas that come to mind for this!

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Terry,

If there is anything we can do, feel free to reach out.

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Welcome to the Refinement phase Terry! We've added new Refinement questions to your original submission that we'd love for you to answer. Please check out the Refinement Phase Toolkit for instructions on how to answer the new questions and other recommendations we encourage all idea teams to consider in the upcoming weeks.

Refinement Phase Toolkit: http://ideo.pn/2du9sf7

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 02/01" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Terry,

I hope you are having a nice day.

There is an idea that was a finalist idea in our Financial Empowerment Challenge - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-empowerment-challenge/top-ideas/public-libraries-as-financial-literacy-hubs-starting-locally-with-oakland-public-library It is called ‘Libraries as Financial Literacy Hubs’. If you scroll down to the bottom of this idea post, there are some really interesting user personas, identification of existing resources to use and I can see some analogies to this idea and your own.

I would recommend really digging down into what is the problem, how is this solution and think about what the competitors are to demonstrate that this a ‘need to have’ and not a ‘nice to have’.

Photo of Isaac Jumba
Team

I love the idea Terry Hosler . Congrats for proceeding to the refinement stage. The idea would also work in lots of areas in Kenya!

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Terry,

Welcome to the refinement phase, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me by using @ and typing in my name directly afterwards.

Photo of Billy Korompilias
Team

Dear Terry Hosler,

what a wonderful idea!

I recently met with a team of people who was doing the same concept for mobile health by contracting containers as automated health consultancy centers.

I would definitely want to work with a framework of a mobile school for our team's project Intelligence Circles - Investigating Capsules (IC)  and therefore I will add you to my team as well :)

Kind regards,
Billy.

Photo of Jawad Ali
Team

Hi Terry,
I really like your idea! I went to college with a lot of people from rural America, a benefit of that was that the urban kids got an insight into what their life and perspectives were like and vice versa. It also seems very practical. Where do you think funding for this could come from?

Thanks!

Jawad

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Thanks Jawad,

I agree it is important to gain both urban and rural (and international) perspectives and insights whenever possible.  This idea was to give isolated rural students that access and opportunity to get there. 

Regarding funding, I was thinking it could be funded a number of different ways or even a combination of them.  It could have corporate sponsorship, non-profit, grant or collaborative funding from the participating institutions.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Terry,

Great idea!

Would there need to be a trained lecturer on board or could this be done by other individuals e.g. alumni?

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Kate
The 'advisor' on board would be versed on the basics of each collaborating campus' web-based programs (student account, blackboard, degree requirements, registration process) and update regularly with campus personnel from any program a student on their caseload was working with but I don't visualize them as a 'lecturer' or even adjunct instructor.  Expanding on the Have Advice, Will Travel idea, they would not be there to teach the class or even explicitly tutor but rather as a guide or advisor unless it would be with perhaps parents or senior citizen 'short subject' issues such as 'How to use Skype' or using a computer for researching options for your students or communication possibilities.

I suppose it could very well be an alumni or possibly a student internship but the difficulty, as I imagine it here, is that the bus is designed to allow for use with a number of higher educational opportunities at the same time. Often college or graduate students are only familiar with one.

I am thinking more of a higher education access and support specialist. This person would be very versed with the 'every college does this' or 'this is your next step' in additional to a basic familiarity with applications and protocol used by each collaborating school

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

:) They could also drive the bus!

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Just in my opinion, it would be a nice job to drive the bus out to rural areas. Some of the remote parts of the US are incredibly beautiful. Madiha Ahmed - could a similar model work in India? I noticed the similarities to the bus in your idea.

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Kate,
Yes, it would often be lovely :) ...and...with rare exception, the bus driver (must carry a CDL (commercial drivers license)to operate a large vehicle often on narrow winding mountain or large distance roads) and would also need to be the advisor, computer specialist, and family engagement specialist.

This could be done providing students with not only access but also a 'real in-person support system'

Photo of Madiha Ahmed
Team

Hi Kate,
It would. Infact I was thinking why not a bus library ? What if rural areas near safe water bodies could have classes on boats or a bus shaped boat ? I know this is too much imagination but I guess it can be made ! What do you think ?

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Hi Madiha,
In the U.S., many rural areas have public libraries with 'Bookmobiles'. Often in areas with large distances, limited transportation and a very small number of libraries - often only 1 or 2 branches per county. The Bookmobile is staffed by a librarian and is stocked with a rotating inventory of the library's selections including electronic media such as CD's and DVD's. They visit isolated or more distant communities on a scheduled basis with often more visits and additional programs during the summer when children are out of school.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Madiha, are there rural services in India that could be used like Terry's ideas of using KHEAA's retrofitted buses?

Photo of Madiha Ahmed
Team

Hi Terry,
I was not aware of that.Thank you ! OpenIDEO is a great platform to learn !

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Madiha
The conversion from one format to another is not too difficult.  Bookmobiles were around long before the internet.  I think your idea of a boat would work as well.  Really, any vehicle that could get into isolated areas with resources - books or teachers or computers with satellite internet connection - the concept is really the same...increase accessibility by taking education opportunities to the students.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Terry,
Would the impact be multiplied if tablets and/or laptops were on the bus and made available for more college students and life long learners to use at a local partnering site? Maybe the bus can stop at a public site where learners can use the equipment and access internet via the bus' system, while others work in the bus itself?

What is the barrier to improving internet service in these communities?

Photo of Terry Hosler
Team

Bettina,

Absolutely!  Great enhancement. 

High speed infrastructures are slowly making progress into isolated areas and will eventually be an option. People will also need the equipment and affordable options for service and equipment. For many areas the low population densities and the terrain make running broadband cable not cost effective for service providers and satellite internet provider options are not always available either.

Schools like Berea College offer 100% tuition scholarships to their admitted students (all of which are low-income students) including providing laptops to all students. 

Some rural areas and school districts have obtained grants to provide tablets to all students as well. For K-12 school districts, funding for having adequate bandwidth for the entire school has to be obtained and the buildings have to be reset to accommodate new/higher capacity routers.  However, service into actual communities and neighborhood in addition to the school buildings is a slower development

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Terry,

Great to have you onboard! We noticed your post is currently unpublished. Was this your intention? We'd love to have it be included in the challenge. You can publish it by hitting the "Publish" button at the top of your post. You can also update your post by clicking on the "Edit Contribution" on top. We're looking forward to seeing your contribution in this challenge.