Electronic communication became a new type or media a language even. Texting, updating status and posting is not just to hare the information, but do it in a more targeted way, do it faster and add increased amount empathy to it. Messaging is no longer just text, it is common abbreviations, pictures and links. Those pictograms are called emojis for a reason. If a boy sends a friend request to girl he likes, it is much easier to get the courage to type a few symbols that mumble something face to face for the first time. Message will go to her and her alone, with out anybody over hearing and gossiping about it later and if she rejects it, it mostly stays between them or at least gives such illusion, instead of being embarrassed in front of everybody.
Even if the teacher is not up to the tech yet, when a group assignment is issued, phone becomes key tool in collaboration. Kids create virtual study groups, share information, progress pictures and ideas. If a child does not have access to that? he has all the risks of being left out. 10 years ago a kid who studied with out internet, just by memorizing all formulas and text would be an A student, now he is B at most. Because, while he will look thru paper books for an answer to an assignment, others will look it up from the search learn it and can move on to other assignment and activities. Basically he will spend more time and effort to get the same result.