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Iowa Learning and Technology Networked Improvement Community

Download the partnership’s overview handout [132 KB PDF icon ]

Partnership Facilitator

Marshal Conley

Research Liaison

Jonathan Margolin

Partnership Objective

The National Education Technology Plan outlines the critical role of education technology in preparing students for postsecondary success. Education technology is an especially important tool in meeting the specific challenges in rural communities, which account for at least one-fifth of public schools in each of the seven states in the REL Midwest region.

Active from 2017 to 2019, the Iowa Learning and Technology Networked Improvement Community (NIC) brought together rural districts to engage in continuous improvement research activities to identify effective ways of integrating technology into instructional practice. Participants in the NIC included staff from rural Iowa high schools and the Central Rivers Area Education Agency (AEA).

Increasing the access to and use of educational technology and re-examining traditional instructional delivery models are of particular interest to Iowa education stakeholders. Half of the state’s public schools and 70 percent of its districts are in rural areas, where technology can connect students and educators with resources that might otherwise be out of reach. Districts in the Central Rivers AEA identified the use of education technology to improve instruction as a primary goal for the next several years.


  • BGM (Brooklyn, Guernsey, and Malcom) Community School District
    • JR Glenn, History Teacher
    • Jeremy Mize, Instructional Coach
    • Rick Radcliffe, Principal
  • Central Rivers Area Education Agency
    • Ashley Flatebo, Instructional Technology Consultant
    • Kay Schmalen, Educational Services Consultant
    • Cari Teske, Educational Services Consultant

Training, Coaching, and Technical Support Projects

In-Depth Coaching and Consultation to Support the Iowa NIC

REL Midwest provided in-depth coaching and consultation in Iowa to help stakeholders identify the programs and practices that support the integration of technology into classroom instruction. Through the NIC, stakeholders used Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles to identify, test, and refine practices to use technology more effectively. Materials, including slide decks and facilitation guides, from the coaching modules are available online.


Technology Use in Instruction and Teacher Perceptions of School Support for Technology Use in Iowa High Schools

This REL Midwest study examined the instructional technology practices and perceptions of high school teachers in a rural region of Iowa, and described how these practices and perceptions varied among teachers of different subjects and experience levels. A related infographic [231 KB PDF icon ] highlights the study’s key findings.