Starting this school year, Ontario’s Ministry of Education invested $150 million into a technology and learning fund to further "enrich" students' learning experiences with the newest gadgets such as tablets, netbooks and software. Members of our generation are no strangers to the vast online world that has taken our society by storm, including our schools. The pros of having easy access to that big essay from home, or being able to hand in that book report on a Sunday night are astronomical. I’m sure all of you are more than familiar with sites such as ELearning and Google Classroom; who can deny the learning advantages of combining the school environment with the online world? For all of you wonderful tech savvy internet travelers, surfers, and browsers out there, making the switch from paper to keyboard must seem like more than you could ask for.
The question that isn’t being asked, however, is: are all students equally benefiting through these programs? As horrific as it may sound not all students have access to the internet at home. Those who cannot access these sites from home are missing out on the opportunity to hand things in on time and therefore losing marks because of that. Because of the accessibility issues that seem to be being ignored, we could be possibly damaging the futures of hundreds of high school students who could very well be handing in that essay on paper and saving themselves that credit. In the library, you can find students trying to skip class in order to hand in their work online because it’s due Sunday night and they simply have nowhere else to get it done. When we allow such "welcome" changes into our learning environment we must also ask ourselves; are we going to be hindering anyone's progress by making these changes?
The technological world is becoming more and more advanced and changing every day; we are being prepared for jobs that don’t even exist yet. In Ontario there are over 18000 online post-secondary courses that are available to students and the learning experience is becoming more and more digitized. We are on the edge of a new age of information and the most important thing for us to consider right now is if we are in fact leaving anyone behind.