In the perfect English classroom, we'd have a full set of laptop computers or Ipads, enabling students to complete online research, read, write, and play English-related games on a daily basis. Students would all come to school with the latest smartphone or Kindle and be ready to use said device to learn new or enhance existing 21st century skills, such as asking the author of their favorite book about her characterization techniques via Twitter.
However, our world is far from perfect.
In my classroom last year, we had 15 working computers on a good day. Some of those computers didn't want to connect to the Internet, or actually run. And none of them came with a text editor. We tried using Google Drive, but for various reasons, that didn't work well.
Fortunately, the TeachThought.com staff took it upon themselves to provide us with five strategies to support students who can't afford technology. These strategies will require some work from us, but the benefits should outweigh the initial energy expenditure.