The advent of the internet has led to a veritable explosion of digital content that can prove highly useful in an academic setting. Digital textbooks can have intriguing features such as animated maps and embedded videos that take the student deeper into the content than is possible with a print-only approach. Even if a digital textbook's most advanced feature is the use of hyperlinks, it still provides students with a much more user-friendly experience than does a traditional print textbook.
The true usefulness of a digital curriculum, however, cannot be implemented until each student is in possession of a device, such as a laptop or tablet computer, that can readily access online content. Actually, equipping each student with an iPad or similar device is quickly becoming one of the trends in many schools across the nation. With such a device, not only can students use electronic textbooks with ease, but they can also access the millions of open source materials for learning available on sites that range from the CIA World Factbook to TeacherTube, a repository of educational videos screened in advance for language and content.
Schools adding so many more devices to their networks, however, are increasingly realizing that the age of the digital curriculum brings with it challenges that must be addressed. Many are choosing a managed programs approach in which experts from an IT company visit the school computer lab, server room, or classrooms as needed to manage firewall settings or provide other essential services to maintain a smoothly functioning system for students and teachers alike.