Here are a few simple steps to help you begin your submission:
- Watch the Rural Tech Project virtual information session. This provides an overview of the challenge and provides answers to commonly asked questions.
- Read the Q&A summary. This summarizes answers to questions received on eligibility, submission requirements, and other elements of the Rural Tech Project.
- Form a team. Identify the eligible school or local educational agency representative who will be your Team Lead and additional team members who will contribute to one or more submission areas (for example, your principal, superintendent, or community members).
- Create a Luminary Lightbox account. This is where you will prepare and submit your program proposal. Your Team Lead can create the account and add other team members to collaborate on your submission.
- Draft submission form responses. You and your team members can edit your submission and save your progress on Luminary Lightbox at any time until the close of submissions at 5:59 p.m. ET on October 8, 2020.
Submission form resources
The resources below are organized to correspond with the following submission form sections:
- Entrant profile
- Program overview
- Career pathways
- Stakeholder engagement
In this section of the submission form, you will describe what makes your community rural. Consult the following resources to:
In this section of the submission form, you will outline how your proposed program would be designed and delivered. Consult the following resources to:
Structure learning programs for careers
- Using Evidence to Create Next Generation High Schools (U.S. Department of Education Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development) describes six evidence-based strategies for connecting learning environments with the careers of tomorrow.
- Levers and Logic Models: A Framework to Guide Research and Design of High-Quality Competency-Based Education Systems (Aurora Institute) offers frameworks and design insights related to competency-based education (CBE) implementation.
- Model Schools, Districts, Networks and States for Competency-Based Education (Getting Smart) includes case studies on CBE program design.
Define a distance learning approach
- Enhancing Online Distance Education in Small Rural U.S. Schools: A Hybrid, Learner-Centred Model (Research in Learning Technology) is a two-year study that identifies characteristics of successful hybrid (blended) learning facilitators in rural settings. Note: This resource has an option to listen or read the full article.
- Distance learning solutions (UNESCO) lists applications and platforms that work across different types of devices and internet capabilities.
Pull it all together
- Applying Best Practice Online Learning, Teaching, and Support to Intensive Online Environments: An Integrative Review (Frontiers in Education) explores how to effectively combine online learning, teaching, and support resources.
In this section of the submission form, you will identify the skills your program would focus on and the career pathways those skills can create for students. Consult the following resources to:
Understand career pathways
- Career Pathways System (Perkins Collaborative Resource Network) defines the term “career pathways.” The Programs of Study Design section outlines practical programming components.
Identify target career opportunities
- Information Technology CTE Career Cluster (Advance CTE) describes what skills are connected to various technology pathways and occupations.
- Information Technology Career Cluster Occupations Report (ONet) offers a detailed database of knowledge, skills, abilities, education levels, and work context for occupations within the CTE IT Career Cluster.
Connect secondary and postsecondary opportunities
- Connecting the Dots: Linking High Schools and Postsecondary Education to Increase Student Success (Peer Review) provides a rationale for linking high school content to postsecondary success.
In this section of the submission form, you will put together the ingredients of a project plan, including approach, infrastructure, and resources required. Consult the following resources to:
Choose CBE tools
- CBE Learning Management System Questionnaire (Educause Review) helps you assess the CBE compatibility of learning management systems.
- List of Tools and Processes (Westminster Public Schools) compiles a number of actionable resources related to CBE implementation (referred to as CBS or Competency-based systems in this resource).
Assess your hardware needs
- Guide: Choose a Technology (Mathematica Policy Research) provides guidance to identify and fulfill technology needs.
- Computer Lab Installation Checklist (Nonprofit Housing) can help you think through the logistics of setting up a computer lab.
Test your connection speed
In this section of the submission form, you will consider how to engage community supporters and stakeholders in your program. Consult the following resources to:
Collect student feedback
- The Measurement of Student Engagement: A Comparative Analysis of Various Methods and Student Self-Report Instruments (Handbook of Research on Student Engagement) lists ways to measure self-reported student interest and engagement.
Establish or strengthen school-community partnerships
- Stakeholder Engagement Guide (Council of Chief State School Officers) provides guidance on how to approach, engage, and collect feedback from different community stakeholders.
- Seven Steps to Building School-to-Industry Partnerships (Edutopia) provides guidance on establishing and maintaining partnerships.
- School-Business Partnerships That Work: Success Stories from Schools of All Sizes (Education World) shows that there is no one way to partner and provides varied examples of successful partnerships.
In this section of the submission form, you will describe the unique expertise and skills of your team members. Consult the following information to:
Find additional team members
Are you looking for specific expertise to develop your Rural Tech Project submission? By completing this Entrant Teaming Resource form, you will be listed in a database of parties interested in forming, joining, or supporting a team. To support collaboration, this information will be distributed to prospective entrants who share contact information.
Entrants selected to run programs will receive implementation support from a paid Community Engagement Manager (CEM), hired by the challenge and valued at $100,000 per finalist. In the submission form, you will be asked to recommend one or more candidates for the role. Below is a description of the role and responsibilities, as well as recommended competencies.
CEMs will support needs identified by entrants to ensure that finalists successfully plan, run, refine, and report on their proposed programs. The CEM will serve their school(s) for the duration of the project.
- Plan. Help solidify the program plan and the technical assistance plan that the CEM will execute, based on the school and community’s needs.
- Run. Fill needed role(s) within the entrant team, such as team facilitator or external spokesperson. Responsibilities may include speaking and coordinating with local stakeholders, assisting with planning, and executing real-world experiential learning opportunities for students.
- Refine. Support data collection and development of an iteration plan to improve implementation in the second academic year.
- Report. Support data and feedback collection to ensure lessons learned are captured and available to share within and beyond the local communities.
While CEMs will not have extensive experience in every competency below, they should have skill or experience in some of the following areas:
- Project management
- Workforce development
- Community engagement
- Partnership/relationship management
- Program development
- Data collection, analysis, and reporting
- Group facilitation
- Conflict mediation/resolution
Specific CEM competencies will vary with the specific needs of the entrant teams.
Prior to selection as a finalist, ED will review and approve the CEM, if one is proposed by an entrant.
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