The ongoing transition to common core academic standards is an opportunity for schools to take a fresh look at instructional materials and define a new balance between paper and digital. But whether they'll be able to shift that balance isn't only a matter of instructional strategy or even technological know-how (although the latter is a significant issue). Whether schools have the technological capacity and infrastructure to tip to the balance toward digital varies widely across the country and within Oklahoma.
Schools that still rely on a computer lab either alone or with one or two outdated desktops per classroom simply aren't equipped to make a real digital leap. But providing more computers — whether a desktop, laptop, tablet or another device — isn't cheap. Schools have little choice but to make financial provisions for changing technology and related demands.
In two years, Florida will require schools to make instructional materials available in electronic or digital formats. Other states may follow. And even if a mandate doesn't create a sense of urgency, the reality that the workforce simply demands students be comfortable with integrated technology certainly should.