Advances in digital microscope technology over the last few years have resulted in great benefits for students. While there are many different types of digital microscopes, they fall into one of two main categories, those that connect to the TV and those that connect to the computer through a USB port. Instead of students being required to share microscopes and discuss their findings without any references, the digital microscopes allow the entire class to view specimens and discuss findings as a group.One type of digital microscope plugs into a data projector or television. This makes the process of teaching science to a classroom much more dynamic, easier and more cost effective. The presentation of specimens and discussion can be accomplished easily by placing the television in the front of the classroom where all students have a clear view of the screen. The educator places the specimen under the handheld microscope for view by the entire classroom.The educator is able to use the television to point out details of the specimen, encourage participate by all students, and fulfill the objectives of the lesson plan using one microscope. There is no need for software or extra equipment to make the microscope a vital part of the educational process.Students will be able to learn the steps for dissecting specimens properly without the normal trial and error that often accompanies this process. In addition, group discussion, questions, and answers always serve educators well when presenting new or unusual content to students. Teaching students about the cellular structure of animals and plants can be easily accomplished using the large, clear, and crisp picture provided by the television screen or data projector.An added benefit of this type of system is that students with special needs, who may not normally be able to handle the small controls of a microscope or be able to navigate the intricacies of the scope, will be able to participate and learn easily with the rest of the class. This inclusion of all students in the science exploration process will expand and empower students with special needs to participate in learning more actively.The scopes made for use with televisions or data projectors lack the functions and features of the scopes that integrate with a computer using a USB port. These systems are able to record still images, do time-lapse videos, and provide a continual flow of information to students relative to the specimen they are studying. An educator can easily develop a lesson plan that will include the splitting of a cell, or the growth process of fungi or bacteria and treat students to the wonderful excitement of watching nature in action.The most effective microscopes for education use are designed to provide greater magnification of 10x to 200x or higher. They also include easy-to-use controls for LED lighting which will allow for adaptation to light sources in the classroom more easily.Many teachers find that using the digital microscope in conjunction with desk microscopes allows for more flexibility in teaching techniques and methods. It is very powerful to have the instructor be able to display what the students are looking for in their desktop microscopes. The interaction of students and educator when students know what they are looking at allows the educator to focus on the project and specimen at hand for the entire class instead of spending time at individual desks telling students the same information.The benefits of using a digital microscope in elementary science classrooms are tremendous. The SmartScope by SmartSchool Systems is affordable and easy to use and opens doors for educators and students. Educators are able to create dynamic lesson plans that utilize the full applications of the microscope while the students benefit from the wonderful world that has been opened to them through this modern technology.