As far as the golden question, I think that teachers need to really know their content better than ever. This will enable them to teach the students more and have the confidence to try alternative methods. Sometimes people think "I could teach 5th grade math/reading/science/social studies. I completed 5th grade, therefore I know enough to be a great 5th grade teacher."
I think that this mentality can creep into the teaching profession as well. Teachers cannot become complacent with their content. Even though they may not be publishing academic papers about the deeper aspects of their curriculum, they must continue to learn about their content throughout their careers. This is true for someone who teaches skills to very young children through college. This is the way they can become better teachers, more confident educational innovators, and most importantly examples of life-long learners. The technology aspect of this is important in that it provides access to more intelligence than ever before. This is true from a practitioner's perspective (pedagogy methods, instructional design, etc...) and from a scholarly perspective (understanding of the world through knowledge).
So, to meet the increasingly varied needs of students, teachers need to have more understanding of who the students are and exposure to perspectives through their own learning. We have responsibility to be life-long learners. It is the ultimate goal of education to help a student to reach this vision. Teachers need to be smarter than ever, they get there through reflection and through continued efforts to gain knowledge through their own professional and personal development.