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EdisonLearningMar 22, 2022 10:12:45 AM2 min read

Rural Access to Educational Equity with Holly Brzycki (S1E3)

What is equity? Who is leading the charge in shaping educational equity? How can I get involved in the movement for educational equity? The Equity Everywhere podcast answers these questions and more. Made for educators, this podcast will give you vital resources through conversations with equity leaders across the educational industry.

In this episode, Thom Jackson, President and Chief Executive Officer of EdisonLearning, chats with Holly Brzycki, the Supervisor of Online Learning at the Capital Area Intermediate Unit. Holly oversees the Capital Area Online Learning Association (CAOLA), a regional online-learning program for 155 districts, schools, and educational programs, and eleven Intermediate Units in Pennsylvania. Holly has been in education for over 24 years as a traditional teacher, online teacher, curriculum director, principal, and supervisor in schools. Holly has spent over 18 years dedicated to online learning and merging her passion for education and technology.


The conversation focuses on positive outlooks using online learning. Thom and Holly discuss how programs like micro-credentials, supporting teachers, speech therapy, and special education can be provided to teachers and students using online resources to address gaps in rural education systems. 


In their conversation on equity in rural schools, Thom and Holly focus on the issues that rural districts face, such as transportation, access to technology, and governmental funding. “We value the teacher and the role they play in shaping the student’s education. Online learning is the tool that can help personalize learning and give the student a pathway that is unique to them and allows a teacher to look at data to provide the right support at the right time,” says Brzycki, on how the benefit of technology to support teachers and let them do what they are educated and trained to do: teach. Holly explains that utilizing services like online learning platforms in rural schools closes the resource gap between large schools with higher amounts of funding and smaller rural schools that don't have the same level of access. These limiting factors, many of which are areas of focus for organizations like Capital Area Intermediate Unit, show that equity goes beyond race and class but addresses individual socioeconomic challenges in communities.


Equity Everywhere is an eight-part series hosted by MindRocket Media Group and EdisonLearning President & CEO Thom Jackson. Joined weekly by a variety of K-12 practitioners and experts, they engage in critical, meaningful, comprehensive conversations about equity in education ― what are the key factors, variables, objectives, and considerations for the education system to acknowledge and address? Together, podcast participants will highlight, amplify, and refine best practices and solutions for ensuring education equity everywhere.