There has been a shift in thinking about technology in our schools. For decades now, schools have played a role in introducing technology concepts to students. From the computer labs of the 1980s to the single computer on the teacher's desk to classrooms with multiple stations for students to work on, we have seen multiple approaches on how we should use these tools.
We no longer view technology for technology's sake as a goal in itself. We've seen that the integration of new tools has to make sense. Teachers and students both have to 'buy in'—the technology has to make things easier, more engaging, more comprehensive, more efficient and yes, more fun. Otherwise, the resources spent and the time spent learning yet another system are wasted. Smart ideas about using technology in education view tools as tools and not as ends in themselves.
Today's students and their teachers use technology in their everyday lives. From smartphones to tablets, using email and apps, we do our learning in conjunction with our technology. Reading a book can be online or off, looking something up in a dictionary is now more often done with a search engine, app or an online database than with a physical book. The tools become almost invisible as they are just a part of our lives.