Digital device learning, often called 1-to-1 computing or a “smart classroom,” is not some faraway abstraction or revolutionary concept in education. In fact, thanks to grants and state-subsidized funding, an increasing number of school districts nationwide are securing electronic devices such as personal computers, remote accessible software and even handheld tablets for their students from such electronic giants as Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo. Proponents for digital device learning assert that greater access to advancing technology within the education system allows teachers to more fluidly support and satisfy Common Core state standards through engaging digital curriculum, interactive supports and assessments, and an enhanced learning environment for their students.
It’s simply a no-brainer that all students should have sufficient access to 21st century technology and the inalienable right to fulfill their educational potential; and while there still exists a substantial “digital divide” between America’s affluent versus underperforming, less funded school districts, there have also been some great strides towards progress.
For example, Digital Promise, an independent, bipartisan nonprofit authorized by Congress in 2008, seeks to ignite innovation in education. Alongside Verizon, Digital Promise recently partnered with eight U.S. middle school to equip students with 1:1 digital devices, granting them access to mobile learning technology in the classroom and within the home, while providing educators with personalized professional development assistance.
The process will be fully documented via an online guidebook so others may learn and grow from the schools’ experiences as they transition into a digital learning environment. With a chief goal to close the digital learning gap, this initiative hopes to turn into a national community of practice.
By: Felix W. Ortiz III