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Rural Switchboard

The Rural Switchboard Learning Space is the third of four pilots for the Community Learning Space Project. The goal of the Rural Switchboard pilot is to improve local community access to information. The pilot will also explore how the Rural Switchboard can aid rural life through skills development, sharing expertise and best practices, solving problems together and promoting successes in the rural community.

To develop the Rural Switchboard Pilot, the Community Learning Space Project Team will work with a Pilot Team that will have representatives from one or more rural organizations that can provide data, define specific objectives and provide feedback during the project.

The general objectives of the Rural Switchboard pilot involve the sector of agricultural businesses and farmers:

  • Agricultural Businesses and Farmers
    • Make businesses more cost effective and facilitate their delivery of information to customers.
    • Increase the opportunities for existing businesses and creation of new rural businesses.
    • Increase sustainability and make the farm more effective.
    • Increase the accessibility to local information
  • Objectives for online development of the pilot project are:
    • To create a website that allows access to information and informational tools
    • To create a website focused on providing agricultural information and links
    • An easy-to-navigate web site that will provide a local look and feel
    • A site that allows access to information in a more relevant manner
    • A site with functional and useful information

The pilot applications developed for the rural pilot community learning space to help achieve these general objectives will involve:

  1. Searchable directories for:
    • Farm-related businesses and organizations (Waterloo, Wellington, Perth and Oxford regions) from sources such as the libraries in the area
    • Local unique businesses and tourism (Waterloo region) and will include
    • Mapping to find businesses in a selected area and to map business locations
  2. Training materials (if arrangements can be made with the provider) accessible from the site
    • Textual - existing material
    • Interactive - showcase one example
  3. Increase partner involvement in the design and development.

The applications undertaken will depend on data and application feasibility with respect to the project's timeline.

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