Has it occurred to us that independent school students use so much technology--and use it well--because the technologies that now surround us are more in tune with how we are wired as humans? I would posit that there is a synergy to be marked between the human brain and the latest technologies, specifically social networking technologies (and similar) in the Web 2.0 world.
Consider, for example, how often we hear or use the word "intuitive" when we are talking about technology. Smart phones are increasingly "intuitive"; such-and-such a website is "intuitive"; program X is "intuitive." Something that is intuitive is something that is directly apprehended, or something that is readily learned or understood.
We shouldn't use the term "intuitive" lightly. If these technologies are truly intuitive, then, in a sense, we are utilizing technologies that are somewhat (perhaps only superficially, at this point) analagous to our own brains. What are the implications of that connection? That is the question, I believe, that lies at the heart of the discussions schools are having around technology and what to do with it. That very connection is why we sometimes feel so burned out by technology; we're increasing our own brain interface, in a way. It's exhausting because it's so hard to keep up with! Our brains, after all, continue to function quite industriously while we sleep; they're always creating and connecting. Now that technology appears to be doing the same (even if it's being manipulated to do, rather than doing it by itself), nothing appears to ever sleep, to ever take a rest.
How do we harness that connection in order to make the most of it, yet give it shape and definition?