This is a great back to basics chapter on why we got so excited about technology in education in the first place. There's a good review of the research on what is possible with tech (that is not possible without it) and solid results showing improvements in student learning outcomes to back up the claims. Anyone doing a lit review on tech in education would want to start here.
For me, one of the most interesting aspects of using tech in my classes is the motivational aspect. As we see in Ch. 9, students who engage in "projects with meaning beyond the school classroom" (p. 213) develop better attitudes towards what they are learning (e.g. p. 210) and learn better (e.g. p. 216). It's cool to read things like "sixth graders who use computer-based learning tools develop a better conceptual understanding of acceleration and velocity than many 12th-grade physics students". Imagine what the 12th grade students could have done with them! :)
Back to motivation. So many students get bored in school, and why shouldn't they? So much of what they learn in school has little application to their own lives, or to anything except the classroom. Or so it has been for a long time. But thru projects connecting classes not only to each other, but to experts in various fields, and thru doing work that has meaning for the students, student motivation and learning outcomes both get a big boost. I was happy to read about all the amazing projects going on (some of them are still going on!) and they motivate me to think about how I can get my students more connected with the outside world and involved in meaningful collaborative projects.
I teach English as a Foreign Language, and since my students don't speak English outside the classroom, connectivity is something I need to tap into more. I have plans for a sister class exchange this fall with a group of university students in Canada who are studying Japanese. Finally, my students will get some real communication with native speakers! Will this motivate them in their English studies? Only time will tell... :)