How Satellite Internet Impacts Learning at Home in Rural Areas

online learning in rural areas

The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed life as we know it, requiring us to adapt to a “new normal” that continues to evolve. One of the most striking examples of COVID’s impact can be seen in the transformation of our school systems. From virtual classrooms to pre-recorded lectures, online learning became the de-facto method of education for a significant part of the last two years. Even now, as school districts fully return to the classroom, online resources remain core to many curriculums, and for good reason. Online learning offers a wealth of opportunities for students to engage with course content, receive support, and develop essential skills.

However, as school systems worldwide increasingly integrate online learning into the classroom experience, the contrast between students with access to high-speed internet and those without it becomes more and more apparent. Without a reliable internet connection, students lose out on critical educational opportunities, putting them at significant risk of falling behind their peers. This problem is especially pronounced for those living in rural areas that lack the infrastructure for high-speed cable or fiber internet options. Thankfully, satellite internet technology extends a lifeline to rural students by bringing them the high-speed internet they need to take advantage of everything online learning offers.

Securing a Space for Every Student

Hughesnet as a rural internet provider delivers essential connectivity for students in remote communities by powering the online educational resources that support their learning. For instance, Student Information Systems (SIS) allow students to access important information, review classroom materials, and speak directly with their teachers to answer additional questions they may have. Communication platforms give students the opportunity to ask live questions and stay engaged with the class. Participation in online group activities and live quiz games reinforces course concepts through collaboration with other students. Supplementary digital resources, like Khan Academy, enable students to continue learning and developing during the summer months. Without access to satellite internet, students in rural areas might be deprived of these essential elements of their education.

Enabling Educators with Technical Capabilities

The benefits of online learning aren’t just felt by the students themselves. With more rural Internet options providing reliable access to high-speed Internet, teachers enter a world of possibilities for extending education beyond the classroom. Websites like Blackboard allow teachers to reach students outside of school, ensuring they’ll always be able to help a student in need. Teachers can also look to online tools for engagement like CK-12, a website containing interactive learning exercises, or Storybird, a gamified tool promoting writing and reading skills. 

Powering New Possibilities for the Next Generation 

The pace of online innovation is staggering, and now more than ever, children must be acclimated to using digital technology from an early age. Activities like searching through digital databases for class reports build proficiency in using online resources to conduct research, an essential skill in many professions. Group assignments that incorporate tools like Google Docs & Sheets prepare students for office work environments where team projects rely on online collaboration platforms. Online courses like CodeHS develop valuable technical skills and open the door to technology-focused career paths later in life. 

Online education not only bolsters student performance in the classroom but powers greater possibilities in the future. With satellite Internet, students in rural areas can engage with online resources throughout their education, supplementing the subjects and concepts they learn offline with tangible digital skills.