Google Effect Rubs Off on Schools in One Rural Oklahoma Town (New York Times)

by STEMconnector


Google Effect Rubs Off on Schools in One Rural Oklahoma Town (New York Times)

Students at Pryor High School study robotics. Elementary schools have basic computer programming classes using free laptops, online collaboration software and Wi-Fi spread across this small town in Oklahoma’s Green Country.

“We have to prepare them for their future, not our past,” said Don Raleigh, superintendent of the town’s schools. “You have to have new skill sets.”

At Wagoner High School, 25 miles south, students in an overcrowded classroom learn about word processing and spreadsheets on old desktop computers. In a recent session, some students napped, while others watched a documentary about high school football.

“It’s pretty obvious that we are the have-nots,” said Randy Harris, superintendent of Wagoner schools. Rather than plan for the online future, where all the good jobs will be, he said, “we’re trying to provide enough textbooks and teachers.”

The difference between these towns is the jackpot that arrived in the form of an enormous Google data center.

As increasing focus is being paid to the wealth and jobs created by tech companies outside Silicon Valley, Google’s arrival in small-town Pryor serves as a complex example of what happens when a modern internet company builds one of its data centers in a community.

Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/11…

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