"Even within the United States, the best schools are not the most tricked-out ones," writes Amanda Ripley in a Slate article called "Brilliance in a Box" posted yesterday.
"In most of the highest-performing systems, technology is remarkably absent from classrooms," says Andreas Schleicher, a veteran education analyst for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development who spends much of his time visiting schools around the world to find out what they are doing right (or wrong). "I have no explanation why that is the case, but it does seem that those systems place their efforts primarily on pedagogical practice rather than digital gadgets."
Seems to me that it's not so much about he-who-has-the-most-toys-wins but how resourceful teachers use the technology. The tools are just a means to an end. Faster test scores, closer communication with students, collaborative assignments, customized learning based on each student's skill -- those are ways that technology can make a teacher's job easier and the learning process more enjoyable.
And as always, underlying all of this, a great teacher is absolutely instrumental in the process. The resourceful teacher can use a ball of string to captivate her students. Imagine what she could do with more.