Broadband a tool for earning Income in rural areas

The Daily Yonder just ran a nice article from an artist who teaches classes online – it has reduced her need for travel and opened up the classes to a much wider group of people. Anyone with broadband access can join…

Online teaching has even become a way to earn income for some people like me. I’m a fiber artist from rural northern Wisconsin. For the past 15 years, I’ve packed up class supplies and traveled coast to coast teaching textile techniques to adults at guild events, conferences and museums. It’s been easier for me to fill classes when I’m the one traveling than to bring studen

The Daily Yonder just ran a nice article from an artist who teaches classes online – it has reduced her need for travel and opened up the classes to a much wider group of people. Anyone with broadband access can join…

Online teaching has even become a way to earn income for some people like me. I’m a fiber artist from rural northern Wisconsin. For the past 15 years, I’ve packed up class supplies and traveled coast to coast teaching textile techniques to adults at guild events, conferences and museums. It’s been easier for me to fill classes when I’m the one traveling than to bring students to my neck of the woods, especially in winter.

Teaching workshops online has helped me reach a broader geographic audience for my narrowly focused specialty — an ancient textile technique called  looping. I’ve had online students from all over the United States plus Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, Russia, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Iceland, Israel, Greece and Spain.

My students log in to a private course site. They watch video demonstrations when it’s convenient for them. They work suggested samples on their own schedules. There’s a class forum where they can post photos of their work and ask questions. It may be a few hours before they get a reply, since we’re in so many different time zones. But no one (including me) is traveling on icy roads.

I love the story because it really demonstrates that broadband is more than a new way to consume – it’s a tool to make more people producers of content, classes, art and more.

This entry was posted in economic development, Rural by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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