CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking), the national professional association of school system technology leaders, today announced a new collaboration with Team4Tech, a nonprofit based in Redwood City, Calif., to create resources for rural school districts in the United States.
For the first year, this collaboration is working with the Millard School District, a rural school district of approximately 3,000 students in Delta and Fillmore, Utah. As part of this initiative, VMware, a technology company based in Palo Alto, Calif., has brought a group of 12 employees from around the world (including the U.S., Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Ireland and India) to Utah as part of its Good Gigs leadership development program through immersive service learning. In addition, two of CoSN’s nationally recognized Certified Education Technology Leaders (CETLs) are joining the team to add their expertise to helping Millard.
“This marks an important commitment to help modernize learning settings for the more than half of U.S. school districts that are rural. Today we start the process of gathering case studies and then building new tools and resources to address the unique needs of rural school leaders,” said Keith Krueger, CEO, CoSN.
CoSN, along with Team4Tech and VMware, were in Utah last week to help enable the success of the Millard’s 1:1 Chromebook per student program rollout by:
  • Establishing a solid technical infrastructure upon which they can build and sustain;
  • Working with the district’s leaders and teachers to incorporate technology into their daily lessons; and
  • Assisting the district’s administration with a change of management plan to ensure the success of the district’s technology adoption.
“We are embarking on a process to use technology in our classrooms to enable a transformation of teaching and learning and prepare our students for today and tomorrow,” said David Styler, Superintendent of Millard School District.  
According to the Future Ready Schools report, A Guidebook for Success: Strategies for Implementing Personalized Learning in Rural Schools, 28 percent of all public schools are rural and 18 percent of all public school students attend rural school districts. Rural schools have a higher percentage of students in poverty – 25 percent versus 21 percent of those attending non-rural schools. This new initiative seeks to help educators in rural school systems on steps to successfully leverage technology to better personalize learning and prepare their students for today’s digital world.
The Utah Education and Telehealth Network, the Utah State Board of Education, Utah State University, the Southwest Educational Development Center (SEDC), and Canvas have also provided their expertise to this effort in Millard.
“Team4Tech is excited to embark on our first project in the U.S. with the Consortium for School Networking. This is the beginning of co-creating technology solutions to transform education in underserved communities within the U.S.,” said Julie Clugage, Team4Tech Co-Founder and Executive Director.
“VMware technology helps our customers create new possibilities. Through our Good Gigs pro bono Service Learning program, VMware people help nonprofits create new possibilities as well, while at the same time helping our employee volunteers expand their global leadership mindset,” said Jessamine Chin, Director, VMware Foundation.
See more photos from the work with Millard School District here.