When I set out to begin a PhD in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology, my aim was to explore the educational and academic possibilites of online collaborative environments toward the development of a blueprint of sorts for their proper employment in classrooms. Education has been historically slow in realizing the potential that many tools have for classroom use and as a result, technology must be repurposed in order for it to be used effectively in schools. What I mean by this is technology has been received with skepticism, as being unnecessary, and an inhibitor to learning over the last several decades. In a technology-infused society, tools with the capability to bridge distances and connect people in ways never before possible, it is unwise and negligent to keep them out of the classroom. However, these technologies have already been purposed in society as a means of social networking for entertainment and correspondence. When the potential exists for them to be used for greater functions such as addressing academic and educational concerns, teachers, administrators, and parents, resist their ability to serve those capacities. The result is a generation of individuals who are unable to see how powerful technologies can be used differently.
If online collaborative tools are employed in younger grades and used during the formative years of education, children will develop an understanding of the full function and capabilities of powerful forms of networking, collaboration, cooperation, and collective abilities. Resistance to such simply extends the unfocused purposing of this technology and perpetuates the generational inability to realize the potential of online collaborative environments toward social, economic, and political issues plaguing our society.