Though implementing one-to-one initiatives such as having a laptop for every student continues to be a primary focus for many school systems across the country, those who have already a 1:1 program are discovering new ways to shape student learning. Impressive technology trends are transforming traditional classrooms for students at every grade level.\nRobotics, makerspaces and wearables will be a few of the trends that join the ranks alongside teachers and students in the fall. \u201cResearch shows that this group of kids learns very differently from past generations,\u201d says GB Cazes, vice president at Cyber Innovation Center recognized, Cazes says.\n\u201cThe use of cyber as a way to provide a context for the content is rapidly growing. We are putting them on a cyber-highway and providing them with on and off ramps,\u201d says Cazes, who added that this is especially true in science and math. One exciting new tool, the Boe Bot robot, allows students to build a robot with a microcontroller. \u201cThere are no textbooks for the Boe Bot. The Boe Bot is the textbook, so you provide teachers with all they need and the students are learning programming and coding as they build,\u201d Cazes says.\nSome schools may have the ability to provide a Boe Bot for every classroom, but for those who can\u2019t, makerspaces \u2013 high-end craft rooms with access to 3D printers \u2013 are a trend that make technology available for students to learn and create all on their own.\nJason Valade, customer success manager at TechSmith described the makerspace as \u201ca place where students need very little direction. It\u2019s trying to give students space to be creative and let them explore and develop.\u201d\n[Related: 12 cool gadgets to soothe those back-to-school blues]\nEileen Lento, Intel Education\u2019s director of strategy and marketing says, \u201cMicroscopes and databased software,\u201d are new technologies that will give 21st century learners more authentic educational experiences.\n\u201cThere are holographic technologies, coding is becoming a valuable skillset in the world we live in. There are goggles for virtual reality and wearables for physical education classes that are more usable and kids can analyze their own data more easily,\u201d Lento says.\nImprovements have to happen at both ends\nChanges need to happen at both the front end and the back end, Lento says. \u201cWe don\u2019t want devices to be expensive typewriters.\u201d\u00a0 The tools need to do more than exist, which means there needs to be matching improvements when it comes to infrastructure.\n\u201cThe role of the CIO as enabler comes into play,\u201d says Lento. \u201cThe job has grown from supporting services to enabling learning. They need to be asking, \u2018How do I set up the infrastructure?\u2019 and \u2018How do I protect the students\u2019 privacy?\u2019\u201d\u00a0\nThe role of the IT professionals has become even more demanding because, \u201cThere needs to be innovations on the backend from servers to storage. All of the edge devices on the front-end need to exist within a secured fabric,\u201d says Lento.\nThe role of the IT professional has also grown to include mediator, and even educator. Procuring the funds to build the infrastructure, especially in public schools, can be a formidable obstacle, and Valade recommends a multi-tiered approach. It\u2019s important to consider where the desire for technology and devices falls in line with the greater priorities of a school\u2019s mission.\nMoving too fast might slow things down\nKnowing how to effectively communicate the value of investing in technology will help a school system develop a comprehensive plan for continued success. Schools need to think about if they want to delay tech improvements for a year or two, or, as Valade cautions, \u201cget devices in hands now but end up with a poor experience.\u201d\nEven if finding funding for technology isn\u2019t an issue, the physical structure of the school can create complications. Many schools were built in the 1940s\u20131970s, and they were not designed to run new Cat 5 cables.\n[Related: 8 free tools that teach kids how to code]\nFrom the students to parents, school boards, teachers, administrations and IT professionals, there are a lot of players to consider, and a lot of stakeholders who want to see the success that educational technologies are promising.\nIt\u2019s important not to be driven by ego in the race to bring more technology into the classroom. While all of these tools and gadgets are intended to meet today\u2019s students where they are and prepare them for the work force, rushing in too quickly can backfire.\n\u00a0\u201cTechnology is leaping and bounding itself so fast. How do you keep up? How do you plan for replacement costs?,\u201d Cazes says, \u00a0It\u2019s the nature of the beast to get excited, so it\u2019s easy to raise more for the initial investment, but how do you get support for strategically sustaining and replacing the technology?\u201d\nInvesting in technology is not a single line item in a budget. IT professionals need to communicate with school boards and the community to change the mindsets of people who remember the classroom as one thing and are challenged by conceiving the ways in which technology is reshaping schools.\nLento agrees that schools need to \u201cstart at a focus of improved student outcomes. What does student success look like?\u00a0 Most parents are still in the space of, \u2018I went to K-12 and this is what it looked like, and it worked.\u2019\u201d\nConsider the integration of technology not as a race but a journey. \u201cThrough the journey, the leadership team needs to evaluate what they said student success will look like, how they said they would measure it, and then look at the data they are using to measure it,\u201d Lento says.