What is meant by student access to the digital world? I believe that this is defined as the teachers ability to incorporate technology into their students education given the resources available to them. Can teachers provide equal access to the digital world? To some extent yes.
I believe that it is up to the teacher to determine what means and to what extent they are incorporating technology into the classroom. A teacher can not expect to assign a film making assignment without the means to provide students with the equipment and means to do so. By no means do I believe that every school will have the ability to provide every student with a computer as the Wyndham School District has done. Although this initiative is incredible and fully provides equal access to the digital world to all students it is not practical for it to be applied very often.
School budgets will be the main obstacle to overcome for any teacher but by no means do I believe that teachers should be using this obstacle as an excuse to not integrate technology. There are many forms of technology integration and all students can be given equal access to do so. Technology integration can be as simple as using the computer lab on a regular basis to use programs such as Primary Access (see previous blog) or Inspiration 6 (a graphic organizational software). Studies have shown that the use of programs such as these do increase student success and understanding of content-based material.
Other school districts have been utilizing programs such as "Cell Phones in the Classroom" or "iPods in the Classroom" to integrate technology and learning. Once again these programs can become expensive and there becomes a need to budget or fund raise in order to initiate said programs but I do believe that with time more schools will make programs such as these available to their students as the educational system begins to accommodate the 21st learners.