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I already see this as a problem with my students. They're embarrassed to say that they don't have a computer or internet at home, so they say things like "My printer is broken", or "We're out of ink" or "We've just bought a new computer and it's not hooked up yet". They can't use school computers before school because they ride the bus and it doesn't get them there early enough. They can't stay after school because they ride the bus and they have to leave immediately. I require them to get a public library card so that they can have free access to computers/internet, but many of them don't have consistent transportation to the libraries and the libraries have limited hours. Technology is great and it offers a lot to those who can afford it. Unfortunately, it's just the newest area where poor students don't have equal access to the best educational tools.
I think digital text, can have a great impact on education in the future. With the reduction in budgets across Districts nationwide, it is an area were we may see real cost savings.
Yet, the reality is that it will depend on whether the use of digital text is implemented correctly, and on the availability of quality FREE textbooks. As long as non-profit organizations fund the creation of the textbooks, and Districts across the nation get to review them, provide feedback, to ensure quality of content, then I think we have a win-win situation.
By using digital texts in my class, my students said that it helped them read and write and that the digital tools (autosummarize, online dictionary and thesaurus, text to speech, copy and paste, readability statistice, change of font type, change of font size, and background colour) they achieved better results. I found that students traditionally in the 'gap' succeeded because text was accessible. It was easier for me to adapt the text for readers because the text was digital.
This is a great opportunity that opens the door to more interactive digital content that can be accessed online. We should embrace this initiative that help in the acceptance of digital content.