techEQUITY Program

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Digitally Delivered Teaching and Learning Materials

The information age is transforming the way students access learning materials. More and more private providers of educational materials are moving from a traditional textbook for delivering content to digital platforms such as websites and ebooks. This move by textbook companies into digital content has lagged behind a more significant change in educational materials, the development of Open Educational Resources (OERs). OERs are free, high quality, openly licensed, digitally delivered teaching and learning materials. Some of the largest OER partnerships are comprised of the country’s top educational and science institutions as well as some of its most innovative companies.


In order to provide students with equitable access to digital learning materials, the Santa Barbara Unified School District provides an iPad to all students in grades 4 through 12. This initiative uses lessons we learned from a four-year iPad pilot at three of the district’s elementary sites as well as our alternative high school.

iPads and Chromebooks in carts are available to students in K-3.


Student iPads are managed by the district. Students will only have access to apps that have been requested by teachers and are educational in nature. Some limited exceptions may be made for entertainment apps such as Netflix. Messaging and other features that may serve to distract from the primary purpose of using the device as an educational tool are disabled. Teachers have the ability to control each student device in their classroom through an easy-to-use interface, which allows teachers to view what students are working on while in their classroom, lock the screen of one or more devices, and lock students into a single app.

Moving Forward

Distributing devices to students is only the beginning of our equity work in technology. We realize that access to low cost or free wireless will continue to be a barrier for many of our students. The district is actively engaged in finding a solution to this community problem. More information about this work will be made available in the coming months.

Questions or feedback? Check out our techEQUITY FAQ or email