Long Island classrooms experience digital divide

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ROCKVILLE CENTRE -

Does technology in the classroom really make a difference in the way students learn?

While some schools, such as Southside High School in Rockville Centre, have access to plenty of technology, other districts have a hard time affording it.

News 12’s Kevin Vesey was at Southside, which has invested heavily in technology in the classrooms. Every student is equipped with an iPad and there are several 3-D printers in the school.

Administrators say technology is part of everyday life, and that exposing students to these devices at such a young age can give them a leg up for the rest of their lives.

“It really is an opportunity for them to utilize this as a tool for communicating, for sharing with us, for managing their homework, for managing their life, and for us to provide them with opportunities for research, reading,” says Superintendent Bill Johnson. “Many of the textbooks we used to have in the backpack are now on their iPad.”

Less than 5 miles away at the California Avenue School in Uniondale, there are not enough iPads for every student. They hope to have enough for every student in five years.

“I think it's how you utilize the technology. It's not how much you have,” says Assistant Principal Dr. Samantha Lacy.

Dr. Lacy acknowledges that the digital divide exists between the districts, but says students in Uniondale are still getting a great education.

“I wouldn't say they're at a disadvantage, but it will take time. We will begin to close that gap,” she says.

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