According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately one in five public school students are enrolled in a school with a rural designation. Rural schools face unique challenges such as a lack of adequate resources, high transportation costs, difficulty recruiting and retaining teachers, and a shortage of professional development opportunities and early childhood services.
School districts are typically the entryway for educational products to make it into the hands of students and teachers. However, the unique ecosystem of each district can make it challenging for product developers and vendors to know who to approach in a district to share information about a new educational product.
When researchers seek to create a product, program, or intervention to enhance educational outcomes for students, they often start from a theoretical foundation. A theory of change, or a conceptual model based in research of how a specific product can lead to a desired change, is often the launchpad for creation.