Today, K-12 students arrive at school with smartphones and tablets in their pockets and backpacks, and years of experience using their digital devices. Educators are adjusting their delivery model to take advantage of their students’ knowledge of, and preference for, using technology. Digital learning environments, where educational technology inspires and engages students in the classroom and throughout campus, represent the future of learning and teaching. They also pose a tremendous challenge.

Part of that challenge is embracing the way kids use technology in their daily lives. Rather than require these digital natives to power down their devices when they walk into the classroom, schools are instead asking kids to power them up, building on their interest in technology and leveraging it to create meaningful learning experiences that connect students to each other and to the wider world. And administrators and teachers are using digital tools to manage the classroom, assess student progress and administer newly mandated online state testing.

Technology can transform teaching and learning, creating powerful 1:1 computing environments in which every child has a device, equipped with digital curriculum that allows for self-directed learning. Far from replacing teachers, though, this technology allows educators to explore new models for learning and rethink collaboration and communication in the classroom.

The below eBook “Making the Grade with Educational Technology” explores the use and impact of technology in education today.