Technology has a greater possibility now to change education by making available open source applications, that is free applications, and many free useful web-accessed or downloadable tools that can help students interact collaboratively and that can give the students access to professional tools that a few years back could only be available through purchase of expensive licensing.
Students can now, from early elementary use very complex tools which have been made simpler to use through the use of greatly improved and friendlier point-and-click interfaces. Examples of such tools, to name just two, that enable students to work collaborativelly in wordpad-like applications can be found at http://www.typewith.me/ and at http://sync.in/. For teenagers, there are available more advanced online collaboration tools such as those provided by Google at http://drive.google.com, where they not only can create word-document-like files but also presentation documents, spreadsheet documents, and more, and just for free. Other examples of more advanced free tools that are available for free are Paint.Net, where one can edit photos very much like Photoshop-style, but for free. Besides these, also various applications have been made portable and do not have to even be downloaded into a computer but can run from a flash drive, giving you access to these tools in any computer where you connect your flash drive to. These portable applications can do a wide variety of tasks, depending on their purpose, such as edit music and video files, create 3D animations, create websites, to name a few. An example of a website where you can download portable applications for free is http://portableapps.com/apps.
I believe that electronic devices such as smart phones and tablets, which are now readily available to students in elementary and acquirable at somewhat reasonable prices, can, and are already, revolutionizing education because of theor continuous internet access that permits students to be able to access information and many of the above mentioned tools at anytime and in any place.
Marco Cesar Saenz
Using Web Tools in the Classroom