Education has always strived to keep up with professional and cultural technology from the days of the overhead projector to the many digital tools at educators’ disposal today such as YouTube and wikis. There are two schools of thought that exist in this regard. The first is that using culturally relevant technology such as social media in the classroom remains a fad to keep students engaged. In my experience, students initially reject the use of digital tools by educators in the classroom for various reasons. One is they want the technology to remain underground so that it remains cool to use rather than being forced to use it in a classroom setting. For example, when the teacher wants the class to have a discussion using Twitter, it becomes a chore rather than the student using Twitter for entertainment or communicating with friends, strangers, or even celebrities. Another reason is students tend to know more about digital tools or they become more digital savvy than the educator who simply wants to engage the students more than reading textbooks, putting the student in the teaching role which can make them feel awkward at times.
The other school of thought toward using digital technology in the classroom is that it promotes continual innovation to the student who today thrives in an evolving digital world. Just as educators must keep up with the times through training and professional development, students also need to adopt a lifelong learning approach to technology not only in the classroom but also in their chosen careers. Furthermore, the previous example of students becoming the teachers should be the objective of any classroom setting rather than acquiescing to the students’ reluctance to master a digital form. Synthesis of digital technology tools prepares the student beyond simply classroom assessment; it prepares them for life. In addition, a bonus to exploring digital tools in the classroom could be and even should be transferring new technology into students’ lifestyle so that the classroom becomes relevant to their environment. Success with using digital tools could be–instead of borrowing from popular culture–students bring what they learn in class to social settings: a goal of true education.