Schools are being advised to streamline their technology purchasing policies to take account of rapidly changing uses of ICT equipment.
Failure to do so could result in expensive equipment becoming obsolete within months rather than years.
The panellists also suggested that pupils will be using mobile devices such as phones, laptops and handheld gaming systems as learning tools within a decade.
Chris Boulton, joint managing director of FileMaker developer CJM Software, and a former head of ICT, said: "Ten years ago kids didn't have mobile phones, and the iPod didn't exist.
"Now schools are podcasting, and students use mobile phones to capture digital video and images for projects."
The group agreed that successful virtual learning environments demand equipment that can be easily adapted to curriculum changes, and which will be accepted by young users.
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