In grade school I can't think of many good uses of constant tech but there should be times specifically for it to learn.

At the college level it depends on the type of courses. I find that a laptop helps a lot in my engineering classes at bother the undergraduate and now at the masters level.

Especially at the masters level it is easy to look up subjects you need to read more on as the professor mentions then so you can read the articles later. After some classes I will have 20 tabs queued up to read.

Some of my classes even expect you to have a laptop with you since the lessons are sometimes done interactively. Recently we have been working on molecular dynamics simulations and looking at the importance of minimizing energy before a simulation, making sure the random starting point is stable, figuring out the free energy of a reaction etc.

There is a huge gaping difference between someone telling you those things are important and you actually doing them and working along with the class. All of our simulations have also required data analysis and visualization of the data and you are expected to quickly be able to parse various strange text formats and do some fairly complex calculations on the data. We normally use python or matlab.

It is also very useful for solving some of the math problems we run into in classes now. Even when an ODE has an analytically solution you don't want to solve it by hand and a computer present allows you to focus on the understanding of the problem and let the computer solve the math part.