The landscape is forever changed once a fire has devoured everything in its path. Trees may grow back over time, but nothing will be the same as before.
Introducing technology into a classroom is the same way. Laptops and tablets are tiny sparks, and the conflagration begins once the teacher allows students to freely use them. From what I’ve observed, a teacher’s classroom is altered once the fire begins. Desks in rows go up in smoke, and groups blossom in the aftermath. A teacher-centric model disintegrates as student-centric learning blooms.
Ideas have done this throughout history. Sometimes it takes a certain person to start the fire, but once the flames engulf people’s minds, change is coming. I’ve spoken to multiple teachers this school year who told me they could never go back to a classroom without devices. They weren’t joking–they really never want to teach without laptops or tablets again because 1) the classroom wasn’t as exciting before and 2) there are so many wonderful ways the students can learn and produce.
The effects of this edtech renaissance we’re presently experiencing have yet to be fully realized, but there’s one thing we know for sure: Everything will change once students have access to the internet and can create and produce with devices at their fingertips.