"New-era smart boards have made the virtual world tour the new hands-on experience.
Reading Justin Bieber's tweets or Kim Kardashian's blog (''This weekend I spent Saturday shopping with my mom!''), you could be forgiven for thinking that digital technology is dumbing us down.
Yes, the digital pool has a shallow end but there's a deep end, too. And nowhere is this more evident than in the arts, as organisations including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Opera House, Musica Viva and Bell Shakespeare start to use interactive whiteboards and video conferencing to spread the cultural word in classrooms.
The optimism is palpable as digital advances threaten to change the way teachers teach and children learn.
'These are exciting times,'' says Heather Whitely Robertson, the head of creative learning at the rejuvenated Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), which reopens this month.
''A lot of us in the cultural sector are just coming to learn what cultural pedagogy means in the digital age,'' she says.
''We're all seeing it as very experimental but it's going to be absolutely wonderful.''
One key innovation is a variation of the school excursion, which some have dubbed an ''incursion''. On an excursion, pupils leave school to visit the MCA; on an incursion, the MCA comes to pupils.
''Some people call them incursions but we call them digital excursions,'' Whitely Robertson says.
''The pupils are still going out but they're going out into the virtual instead of the physical space. I think it's really important to phrase it that way.
''As far as students are concerned, they talk about this as a primary direct experience.
''They tend to say, 'I went to the MCA today.' This is a mental and virtual excursion. For us, it's a really new and important strategy and a whole new vision for creative learning.''
The MCA is just one arts body embracing new technology. Today, the Opera House launches its ambitious Digital Education Program, while Bell Shakespeare and Musica Viva are consolidating their digital presence.
On Wednesday, Bell Shakespeare will run its first ''digital masterclass'' for students, on Romeo and Juliet, being staged at the Opera House in April-May. Using video conferencing, the stage of the playhouse will be linked with classrooms around NSW.
The idea is ''to develop scene work, participate in practical exercises and exchange ideas to bring to life the story, characters and language of Shakespeare's great romantic tragedy''.
Next month, after a Bell Shakespeare performance of Macbeth at the Opera House, pupils and actors will engage in a Q&A. And in May, Bell Shakespeare will live-stream its Romeo and Juliet and a post-show Q&A to pupils in Port Macquarie.
Equally positive about digital technology is Musica Viva, an organisation dedicated to promoting chamber music.
''What we really want to grapple with now is the fact that music is compulsory under the new curriculum and will be until year 10,'' says the chief executive of Musica Viva, Mary Jo Capps. ''But how are teachers equipped to deal with that? And how can it be stimulating for students to achieve their educational outcomes and also receive all the other benefits of music?''
At the heart of the innovations are interactive whiteboards, which started arriving in NSW schools in 2007 under the state government's Connected Classrooms initiative.
As of last year, the NSW Department of Education says, every public school in the state has an interactive classroom and video-conferencing facility.
''This is only the first wave of new resources,'' Capps says.
''The interactive whiteboard is about combining a huge range of musical styles and it allows students and teachers to work simultaneously to get hands on and explore music, even if neither has a huge range of knowledge in that area.
''It brings them into the subject matter quickly and easily and takes them to the curriculum outcomes. It's multi-user, which means you can have various children at the whiteboard at a time.
''You can have high-resolution videos. And you can have students responding to what's happening on the whiteboard.
''They can create their own works, they can click and drag to build pieces of music. Those are the real breakthroughs.
''The next step may be for kids to do this work at home, for parents to do it with their kids, or for the kids to do it amongst themselves remotely.
''It does change the whole way teachers teach. And the payoff is going to be huge.'' The early feedback has been positive.
''If kids are going to engage, that's 90 per cent of the battle,'' Capps says.
One educator at the forefront of the digital education revolution is a lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney, Rachel Perry, who is teaching a new generation of educators how to make the most of new technology.
At UTS's Kuring-gai campus, Perry and her students have been connecting with pupils in years 5 and 6 from Kurrajong East Public School, in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Each week, Perry, her teaching-degree students and the Kurrajong pupils have been discussing Australian political history via video conferencing.