Rural broadband has become a foundational service for rural communities and rural economy, and it is essential for services such as education, transportation, public safety, and tele-health. In particular, rural STEM education is essential for the long-term prosperity of rural communities and the sustainability of our whole society in general. ARA will enable dynamic and interactive experiences for learners on agricultural education. Using augmented reality (AR) technologies combined with streaming video and data from the ISU and producer farms, students will be able to experience the advances in broadband and agricultural technologies. For instance, Dr. Larysa Nadolny (ISU) will develop AR experiences for learners (e.g., see figure below) and engage teachers in connecting their classrooms with ARA.
For rural schools which serves students from the surrounding rural farms, being able to connecting school buses to district coordination center and keeping students, families, and schools informed of the real-time whereabouts of school buses is not only a convenience, it also helps ensure the safety of students in inclement weathers such as deep cold winter. These and other rural use cases will be enabled by the ARA deployment in hundreds of square miles in central Iowa. ARA and the enabled use cases are expected to be replicable to other communities and regions across the U.S. (Having other use cases that we shall feature here? Please contact us or share them with the ara-users Google group!)