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Today's blog post comes from guest blogger Henry A. Dixon, M.S., Ed.S. Find Henry's work on District CIO. Please follow this innovator on Twitter @DistrictCIO.

“‘The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they [do not] have any’” (Sandberg, 2013); a belief many students share in a teacher-centered classroom. Many of our classrooms have moved to student-centered curriculums; supported by personal computers, tablets and other mobile computing devices. This change in focus has fundamentally altered the structure of power in our classrooms. The role of the teacher has transformed from a source of information to a facilitator of learning; leading from behind by pointing students to premium sources of digital instructional content. This is made possible by the ability of connected computing devices to build general self-efficacy in students. Computing technology empowers students to be responsible and accountable for their individual learning.

If it is no longer necessary for teachers to stand and deliver, they can better utilize instructional time by focusing “on students’ ‘needs’ and on the technology that can be employed to fulfill those needs” (Jonaitis, 2012). Creating authentic, self-directed, self-regulated learning environments that focus on students’ individual learning plans and what they truly care about. Connected devices provide students access outside of the classroom; students are no longer limited by the teachers’ knowledge, outdated textbooks or even the physical characteristics of the school building. Teachers can provide a high level of authentic learning with minimal cost and effort through online learning environments. Student achievement is achieved when students are stimulated to learn; connected devices engage students in ways that traditional methods fail. Tradition and technical innovation have coexisted in classrooms over the last two decades, but only recently has technology finally eclipsed traditional methods to become the backbone of the learning environment. Many educators share mixed feelings about technology in the classroom; as with all forms of change, pros and cons exist.

Feel free to comment in support or opposition to connected devices and the new role of teachers in the classroom!