Experts said that the digital divide is education’s greatest challenge. Discovery will offer its Techbooks free through June.

During a conference on digital learning, award-winning Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told peers, publishers, and congressmen that going digital in schools is more than just incorporating cool gadgets–it’s a moral imperative. Matching Carvalho’s message, Discovery Education announced that it will give all schools a free trial of its digital “Techbooks.”

“Not providing kids access to the internet and digital resources is not a skillset deficiency, or a resource deficiency,” said Carvalho. “It’s a political courage deficiency. We must erase the digital divide in urban and rural areas to truly unify our country.”

Carvalho’s stirring presentation was part of a day-long conference by Discovery Education and Digital Promise—a nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to spur innovation in education—along with Connect2Compete, ERDI, ISTE, NCERT, and many other organizations, to discuss the state of digital learning and its impact on college and workforce readiness.

(Next page: The inspiration for the conference)